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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/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 translation and interpreting services, call Andiamo! on 08450 345677 or email us and we’ll be happy to help!

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