Expressions that only Spaniards understand-part I We, Spaniards have a lot of “crazy” expressions able to get crazy even to the most diligent student.


Have you ever feel you did not have a clue about what a Spaniard was talking to you about? I mean…you were speaking with a Spanish friend, or even your teacher and all went good, you were having a nice conversation, you understood…everything was pretty sweet, until….ta-da! They said something, a sentences…”a expression”, you do not know where it came from but…it destroy the whole conversation and made you feel lost…

A lot of times when talking with native speakers they use expressions, sometimes expressions that only Spaniards understand-part I , but…today you will be ahead, as I am going to give you some of these expressions so you can keep an ace up your sleeve for next time and no Spaniard will catch you off guard.



Expressions that only Spaniards understand-part I


 1-Cada palo que aguante su vela


This means everyone need to carry out their job, taking full responsibility and not blaming anyone else.

Imagine your co-wroker wanted to become the manager of the company, he finally got it, but now he is overwhelmed and it seems to much for him, he is asking you and your colleague to work longer hours and trying to avoid responsabilities and passing them into you guys, one of your team could say at some point

“Yo me voy a casa, ¡Qué cada palo aguante su vela! Este no es mi trabajo, él era el que quería ser jefe”

I am going home, every man for himself! This is not my job,  he wanted to be the boss.

In English, Each person must carry his own weight, Every person for themself…

2-De higos a brevas


When something hardly happens, or very so often.

If you do not see one of your friend often one you see him you could say to him

“Hombre, ¿cómo va todo? Porque ya no sé nada de ti, te veo de higo a brevas”

Hey, how is everything going? Because I do not know anything from you, I see you once in a blue moon

In English, once in a blue moon

3-Ir de punta en blanco


If you want to talk about a wedding you went to where everyone was suited and booted, and you feel out of place you can explain

“Todo el mundo iba de punta en blanco”

Everyone was suited and booted

In English will be the same to say “smart dressing”

4-Cargar con el muerto


It is a funny expression and we use it when someone have to pay or take the consequences for something they really did not do.

If one of your friends always get drunk on a night out and you are always the one in charge to take him home, next time before going out you could say

“Esta noche no bebas mucho, no te pienso traer a casa, siempre me arruinas la noche, eres tú el que bebes y yo tengo que cargar con el muerto”

Tonight do not drink a lot, as I am not thinking about bringing you home, you always ruin my night, you are the one who drink but I am the one lumbered

In English is something like to take the rap or get lumbered

#CURIOSITY-This expressions comes from ages, maybe centuries ago, when if a death person was found in a village, the whole village needed to pay a fine, to avoid that when a dead body was found, the inhabitants of the village normally needed to take it to another village so they did not have t pay.

5-Ir de picos pardos


In the old times it used to have a bit of a different meaning but nowadays we use it to say “going out party”

If you needed to talk with a friend on a Saturday night but she is a party animal when she asked you why you did not tell her something you can say

“Lo intenté, pero estabas de picos pardos y no cogiste el telefóno”

I tried to, but you were out having fun and did not pick up the phone

In English is similar like to go out partying.


#NOTE-Expressions are so so common in the daily Spanish life, so this is just a small scoop of them, if you are curious and you want to learn more you can check other post I wrote, some of them are


They are just a few more, as as you know expressions are one of my favourites J:) Have fun going through them


And now before saying “¡Adiós!”-Goodbye , some….you guessed it! HOMEWORK– Let a comment in the comment section below letting us know which of the expressions above you like it best, for those who want to go a bit extra, let a comment with a situation where you can use one of the expressions that only Spaniards understand.


And as usual NOW IT IS YOUR TURN, if you like this blog share with a fellow Spanish learners and let’s spread the Spanish word around,  the more we are the more we can practice J and if you love it, or just like it but want to give it another go, make sure you subscribe to my weekly dose of Spanish, so you can receive a “Spanish drop every Friday”.


Pst…pst…before I forget,. If you are as fan as idioms as I am, I got a great book in amazon to check it out,  over 100 Spanish idioms, with examples and the English equivalent.


I will write you soon- ¡pronto! In the meanwhile “be Spanish my friend!”



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