Idiomatic Expressions

  1. A chorros
    In abundance; plenty; lots.
  2. A duras penas
    Hardly; barely; with difficulty.
  3. A gatas
    Crawling (lit.: on legs/feet; used with the verbs estar or andar).
  4. A manos llenas
    Generously; lavishly (lit.: with full hands).
  5. Al pelo
    Just what is wanted or needed.
  6. Año nuevo, vida nueva
    Happy New Year (lit.: new year, new life; used as a greeting or statement around Jan. 1)
  7. Ave María Purísima
    For heaven’s sake (lit.: hail most pure Mary; n.b.: used in religious services, and as an exclamation).
  8. Bicho raro
    Oddball (lit.: rare bug).
  9. Brillar por su ausencia
    Be conspicuous by one’s absence.
  10. Buscar bronca
    Be spoiling for a fight; be looking for a fight.
  11. Cada hijo de vecino
    Every Tom, Dick, and Harry; everyone.
  12. Cada muerte de obispo
    Once in a blue moon; very rarely (lit.: each time a bishop dies).
  13. Caer en la cuenta
    Realize
  14. Caer mal
    Dislike; not like. 1. Me cae mal este tipo.
  15. Carne de gallina
    Gooseflesh
  16. Coger el toro por los cuernos
    Grab the bull by the horns (n.b.: coger is used only in Spain).
  17. Como agua para chocolate
    Furious; enraged (lit.: like water for chocolate).
  18. Como de costumbre
    As usual (lit.: as of custom).
  19. Como Dios manda
    The way it’s supposed to be.
  20. Como perro en barrio ajeno
    Out of place; in the wrong neighborhood (lit.: like a dog in a distant neighborhood; i.e.: people who try to enter other parts of society may be attacked or ostracized).
  21. Como quitarle un pelo al gato
    A victimless crime (lit.: like removing a hair from a cat; i.e.: the quantity in question is so small that it has no significant effect and goes unnoticed).
  22. Como si no fuera poco
    As if it were not enough.
  23. Darle a alguien mala espina
    Make someone feel uneasy (lit.: to give bad thorns to someone).
  24. De ahora en adelante
    From now on; henceforth; from this moment forward (lit.: from now in advance).
  25. De armas tomar
    Formidable; tough; redoubtable (lit.: for taking up arms).
  26. De buena gana
    Willingly; with ease; with pleasure (lit.: of good desire).
  27. De buenas a primeras
    Suddenly; without warning.
  28. De cal y canto
    Strong; firm.
  29. De costumbre
    As usual; normally.
  30. De cuando en cuando
    From time to time; sometimes; once in a while (lit.: of when in when).
  31. De diario
    Everyday.
  32. De golpe
    Suddenly; abruptly; at once; all at once (lit.: of a blow or strike).
  33. De hecho
    In fact, in reality (lit.: of fact). 1. De hecho, qiuero ir contigo.
  34. De inmediato
    Right now, immediately (lit.: from immediately).
  35. De medio pelo
    Second-rate.
  36. De moda
    In fashion; in style.
  37. De modo que
    So; so that.
  38. De mucho cuidado
    Big; terrible; real (used adverbially).
  39. De nada
    Not at all; you’re welcome; don’t mention it (n.b.: often said in response to “gracías”).
  40. Decir amén a todo
    Say yes to everything; agree to everything (lit.: to say amen to everything).
  41. Decir en broma
    Kid; joke; tease (lit.: to say (as a) joke).
  42. Dejar de lado
    Set aside; put aside (lit.: to leave from (the) side).
  43. Dejar en paz
    Leave alone; leave be; let it be (lit.: to leave in peace).