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Spanish proverbs


25th September 2013

Emily Robertshaw

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

If you have any more to add to the list, do let us know!


Spanish saying/proverb

Literal translation

Equivalent proverb in English/other meanings

Corto de luces


To be short of lights


Not the sharpest knife in the drawer


Tiene más lana que un borrego



He has more wool than a sheep


To have a lot of money


En boca cerrada no entran moscas



Into a closed mouth flies will not enter


Think before you speak


En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques


On a Tuesday, don’t get married nor get on board

Tuesday 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 orégano


The whole hillside is not covered in oregano


All is not as it seems

Tomar el pelo


To take hold of the hair


To pull someone’s leg


Las mentiras tienen las patas cortas



Lies have short legs


The truth will out


Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando



A bird in the hand is worth more than 100 flying


A 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 guitar


What’s that got to do with the price of fish?


Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda


If you dress a monkey in silk it will still be a monkey



You 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


If you’d like to find out more about our Spanish interpreting or Spanish translation services, call Andiamo! on 08450 345677 or email info@andiamo.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help!

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