Return to the SPANISH ArchiveForward to the Current SPANISH discuss

MaryamWednesday 15th of December 2004 07:16:31 PM
In Spanish - These are of very common use and can be very helpful so we will study them here:

PASAR LA NOCHE EN BLANCO
TIRAR LA CASA POR LA VENTANA
ECHAR LA CULPA AL MUERTO
A LA TERCERA VA LA VENCIDA
ESTAR EN BABIA
¡VIVA LA PEPA!

- Pasar la noche en blanco (When a person is unable to sleep because of worries, physical pain or other reasons, it is said that "esa persona ha pasado la noche en blanco")
Ex: He pasado la noche en blanco pensando en el exámen de mañana.

The origin of this expression comes from the Middle Ages, when the aspirant to the order of Chivalry had to spend some full nights awake and wearing a white tunic.

A synonym for this expression can be "pasar la noche en vela" with the same meaning.

-Tirar la casa por la ventana. When a person has a tendancy to spend more money that what he was supposed to, in Spain it is said say that "está tirando la casa por la ventana."
The explanation for this set phrase comes from the last century, everytime someone found out he or she had won the National Lotery, he or she used to throw through the window all the things from inside the house and bought new ones. Incredible hum?

- Echar la culpa al muerto. It means "to make a third person pay for what mistake or bad thing someone else has done"
Ex.: Enrique le ha hechado la culpa al muerto. Ahora no va a pagar la multa por conducir borracho. Dice que el que conducía era Juan.

- A la tercera va la vencida: It said when we mean that even though we have tried twice to do something without result, the third time it will give positive ones.
Ex.: Felipe quiere ser novio de Ana. Ella ha dicho que no dos veces. Felipe dice que "a la tercera va la vencida". Espero que tenga razón.

- Estar en Babia. If Antonio is lost in his thoughts or daydreaming, we say "está en Babia". The origin of this expression comes from the Lower Middle Ages when the Kings of León, tired of problems at the castle, always found a good place in Babia, near the river Luna, a place where they could forget for a while the intrigues, historical deeds, etc. When asked about where the kings were, the vassals always answered: They are in Babia. Meaning they are out from the reality of what is going on in our kingdom.
Example: Carlos siempre está en Babia. Nunca escucha al profesor cuando le habla.

- ¡Viva la Pepa! It is said to someone showing a personality without worries. For example: Mañana Ana se va a la playa pero tiene un exámen muy importante en la universidad, ¡Viva la Pepa! (no se preocupa por lo que es importante de verdad)

CorazonThursday 16th of December 2004 06:49:25 PM
Un trabajo muy util! -
Me encanta jugar con las palabras especiales en idiomas extranjeros. Creo que, en mi lengua y en espaniol, algunas expresiones son muy similares.
Por ejemplo:
En Espaniol: Estoy en trabajo hasta mis ojos.
En Ingles: Estoy en trabajo hasta mis oidos.
En Uzbek: Estoy en trabajao hasta mi cuello.
(Parece a mi, la gente hispanica estan la gente mas ocupada:))

Pero, poder hablar como los nativos es mucho mas agradable!

Gracias Maryam, por favor, continue!

Corazon
ZelleFriday 17th of December 2004 06:23:08 PM
más útil - Estoy de acuerdo. Hablar en la misma vena de los nativos es más útil.

para ayudarnos aprender todas las frases en una diversión:
(corregirme por favor)
Felipé pasó la noche en blanco cuando el otro conductor había echado la culpa al muerto; el accidente no fue su culpa. Entonces, jugaba a la loteria para terminar la problema (y porque a la tercera va la vencida), y el dia siguiente tiraba la casa por la ventana y al final estuvo en Babia.


CORRECCION

El accidente no fué por culpa suya (o por su culpa)

Jugaba a la lotería para terminar con el problema...

Y al día siguiente tiró la casa por la ventana...

Al final (because it´s in the end: se quedó en Babia instead of estuvo or estaba en Babia)
MaryamMonday 20th of December 2004 07:57:14 PM
More set phrases - SER MÁS FEO QUE PICIO
LA OCASIÓN LA PINTAN CALVA
PONER LA MANO EN EL FUEGO
¡VETE A LA PORRA!
NO HAY TU TÍA


-SER MÁS FEO QUE PICIO
(lit. To be ugglier than "Picio")

In order to enphasize someone´s opinion regarding a person´s uggly physical appearance, this set phrase is of very common use.
But... who was Picio?
It seems that Picio was a shoemaker who lived in the begining of the XX century in a little town of Granada, Spain, named Alhedin. It is said that this man was condemned to death but afterwards was pardoned: due to the new that he was going to die, Picio had completely lost his hair and a series of terrible malformations appeared on his face, thus making the even enter into the legends and stories of that little area of Spain and afterwards the rest of the territory. He was considered the representant of physical ugliness.

"Eres más feo que Picio" is also used to make fun of someone.


-LA OCASIÓN LA PINTAN CALVA
(lit.: the occasion is painted (shown, offered) bald (neat).

The ancient Romans adored a goddess called Occasion", a very beautiful woman who was depicted over a wheel, wearing wings on her feet or on her back, symbolizing that good things pass too quickly. I think the tarot deck shows this representation under the name "Wheel of Fortune". Occasion used to wear her face covered by her hair but she was totally bald on her back head. This showed that once the ocassion has passed away (the fortune) it is impossible to recover it or grasp it and therefore one must not doubt a moment to take profit of an opportunity or decission.

Example:

Me voy a presentar a las elecciones de Diciembre. Sé que nuestro grupo tiene mayoría. La ocasión la pintan calva, así que voy a presentarme.


-PONER LA MANO EN EL FUEGO
(Lit.: to put the hand over the fire)

This common saying is used to show that we are are convinced about something or someone. It comes from very ancient times, especially among the germanic tribes. They practiced a kind of judgement named "God´s judgement, also known as "Ordalía", a legal institution which dictaminated if someone was innocent or guilty, or something, like a book, or an artistic performance or painting, etc, that had previously been accused of breaking the moral law.
In front of the Court, the accused had to take some red-hot iron or put his hands inside a pyre. This also applied to things as stated above. If the person didn´t burn or had only little wounds that meant that God considered the person innocent, thus free from guilt.

Examples:

Estoy segura que Antonio no es ningún ladrón. El no ha robado el dinero del banco. Puedo ponder mi mano en el fuego.

Pondría mi mano en el fuego a que estoy segura que María es la madre de David.


-¡VETE A LA PORRA!
(Lit.: Go to the truncheon) (to send someone´s packing)

The origin of this set phrase comes from the enormous truncheon or stick that accompanied the biggest drum in ancient regiments. Even today it is possible to see it at militar parades where a musical band takes part. Before, when it didn´t, the stick was left at the main door, where the soldiers had to paid for their lesser penalties. The official used to say to the punished soldier:"¡Vaya usarced (usted) a la porra, seor (señor) soldado! Meaning that he was punished and had to go to that area, where the stick stayed beside the main door.
So the expresion, before, was very correct. And now it is used with derogation when we want someone to get out from our way.

Examples:
No me gusta que te burles de mí. ¡Vete a la porra!

¿No quieres aceptar mi regalo? Pues... ¡vete a la porra!


-NO HAY TU TÍA
When some problem can´t be solved. It´s origin comes from a very old medicated cream that in old times spanish people used as remedy for their physical pains, called "la atutía" or "tuthia", derived from the arab "altutiyá".
Such ointment, the arabs started to use it for the eyes, and it´s a mixture of oxide zinc and other metallic salts.
When in those times people said "no hay tu tía", they meant that there was no remedy for some pain even if they used the wonderful ointment.

Examples:
Este niño no estudia, aunque le de regalos después de los deberes. No hay tu tía

Siempre serás un desordenado. No hay tu tía.
AntarticThursday 23rd of December 2004 05:42:54 AM
- Hola. Algunas frases que has escogido Maryam, no las conocía. Pero la frase: a la tercera va la vencida, yo la uso como: la tercera es la vencida.
Otra muy común es: de tal palo tal astilla, que creo que tambien tiene su equivalente en Inglés.
Just my two cents.
MaryamThursday 23rd of December 2004 11:44:34 PM
- Hola Antartic,

Gracias por tu mensaje. Efectivamente, "de tal palo tal astilla" tiene su equivalente en Inglés: "Like father like son". Y en cuanto a "a la tercera va la vencida" o "va a la vencida", quizás esta forma de decirlo venga de un país or región de Hispanoamérica, además que las frases hechas varían mucho de una zona a otra. En España se oye decir "a la tercera va la vencida", por eso lo puse. Si sabes de donde viene "la tercera va la vencida", dínoslo, así podremos aumentar nuestros conocimientos. Gracias y... Feliz Navidad! :)

[quote]Originally posted by Antartic


Hola. Algunas frases que has escogido Maryam, no las conocía. Pero la frase: a la tercera va la vencida, yo la uso como: la tercera es la vencida.
Otra muy común es: de tal palo tal astilla, que creo que tambien tiene su equivalente en Inglés.
Just my two cents.[/quote]
CorazonSunday 02nd of January 2005 05:46:39 AM
How do you say it? - Dear Maryam,
these phrases are really useful. Thank you for your time.

I would like to ask for the equivalent phrases for some phrases which we use every day's conversation. (If they are exist as phrasal form)
-in the middle of nowhere..
-to forget something/somebody next to never

AND...

There are some situations:
-if you give any present or smth like that to somebody and if he/she asks where did I get it.. but I am not going to tell about it. How I can answer by polite way.
One explanation to make the question clear: we (Uzbeks) use in this situation with the smile: "Please, eat the grapevine , but don't ask about its vineyeard"

- what you say to somebodies who appears just as they are spoken of.
Uzbek version: "I wish I would talk about Hizr". Hizr is name of a legendary figure famed for drinking from the Water of Life and attaining immortality; supposed to appear to people in need to deliver them.

Thank you for your time, please, continue with this phrasal support, we need them very much.

Corazon
AntarticSunday 02nd of January 2005 11:24:19 PM
- Hola.
-in the middle of nowhere.
Well, I know a sentence that could be similar to this.
Estar mas perdido que el Teniente Bello.
Estar mas perdido que Toribio el Naufrago.

These characters are well known because nobody never heard again of them after they lost, but the second I think it's not real but from a story. It has something to do with your original sentence, but these meanings are more strong. Also you can translate it literally: Estoy en medio de la nada.

-to forget something/somebody next to never. Sorry but could you explain this better, my english is not perfect.

-if you give any present or smth like that to somebody and if he/she asks where did I get it.. but I am not going to tell about it. How I can answer by polite way.
I know a phrase that could fit this one:
Se cuenta el milagro pero no el santo. As my country there are a lot of religious people, when something good happens and nobody knows who did it or gave it, this phrase is used.

- what you say to somebodies who appears just as they are spoken of. I don't know any sentence similar to this. But it always heard, something like: Eres igualito a tu padre o a tu madre. Just for saying something nice. Maybe in another country they have a expression as you're looking for.

CorazonMonday 03rd of January 2005 12:38:52 AM
Gracias Antartic! - Hola!
Gracias por tu respuesta y ayuda!
Es muy util. Me gusta hablar como los nativos, si, creo que hay bastante differencia entre los paises latinamericanos con sus refranes, proverbios.. Pero, es normal :)

Deseo te todos mejores con tus estudias y vida.
Prospero Anio Nuevo!