Spanish proverbs

25th September 2013

Emily Robertshaw

Check out these Spanish proverbs and see how many you can guess from the literal translation.

Spanish saying/proverbLiteral translationEquivalent proverb in English/other meanings
Corto de lucesTo be short of lights Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
Tiene más lana que un borregoHe has more wool than a sheepTo have a lot of money
 

En boca cerrada no entran moscas

 

Into a closed mouth flies will not enterThink before you speak
En martes, ni te cases ni te embarquesOn a Tuesday, don’t get married nor get on boardTuesday is an unlucky day in Spanish culture – Tuesday 13th holds the same connotations as Friday 13th in the English speaking world
 

El hijo de la gato, ratones mata

 

The son of a cat kills mice Like father like son
No todo el monte es oréganoThe whole hillside is not covered in oreganoAll is not as it seems
Tomar el peloTo take hold of the hairTo pull someone’s leg
 

Las mentiras tienen las patas cortas

 

Lies have short legsThe truth will out
 

Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando

 

A bird in the hand is worth more than 100 flyingA bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
 

Yo tengo una tía que toca la guitarra

 

I have an aunt who plays the guitarWhat’s that got to do with the price of fish?
Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se quedaIf you dress a monkey in silk it will still be a monkeyYou can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
 

No hay mal que por bien no venga

 

There is no bad of which good does not come Every cloud has a silver lining

 

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