Mad in Spanish Slang: From “Estar Pirado” to “Estar Zumbado”

What do a goat (cabra), a screw (tornillo) and a watering can (regadera) have in common? These three words are used to indicate when someone is mad in Spanish slang.

Craziness is a universal concept that finds expression in various languages, each with its unique idioms. In Spanish language, several colorful sentences capture the essence of going mad or being crazy.

Madness in Spanish Slang

Here are some intriguing phrases that will be useful to detect if someone thinks you are going mad.

Estar Pirado

To say someone is “estar pirado” is to suggest they’ve gone mad or are acting irrationally. This phrase is often used in a lighthearted manner to describe eccentric behavior rather than serious mental instability. It conveys a sense of temporary craziness.

Example: Después de trabajar toda la noche, Juan está pirado hoy. No para de contar chistes sin sentido.

Translation: After working all night, Juan is crazy today. He can’t stop telling nonsensical jokes.

Estar Majara

“Estar majara” is another expression for being crazy but often implies a certain degree of endearing madness. It’s a way to describe someone as charmingly eccentric rather than truly disturbed. This phrase carries a touch of affection, making it suitable for close relationships. Sometimes you might hear it in the alternative version “estar majareta”.

Example: Mi abuela está completamente majara, pero la quiero así. Siempre nos hace reír con sus ocurrencias.

Translation: My grandmother is completely mad, but I love her like that. She always makes us laugh with her antics.

Se Te Va la Pinza

When someone’s actions are erratic or unpredictable, the phrase “se te va la pinza” comes into play. Literally meaning “your clothespin is loose”, it suggests that someone is losing control or becoming unhinged. It’s often used when someone says or does something nobody expects.

Example: No entiendo por qué Marta ha reaccionado así. Se le va la pinza últimamente.

Translation: I don’t understand why Marta reacted like that. She’s been acting crazy lately.

Se Te Va la Cabeza

“Se te va la cabeza” translates to “you’re losing your head.” This expression indicates that someone is acting irrationally or making decisions that are not well thought out. It implies a temporary lapse in judgment rather than a long-term mental health issue.

This expression has another connotation that can be more serious. It also refers to elder people who starts to lose their minds.

Example: Comprar ese coche sin probarlo primero, se te va la cabeza.

Translation: Buying that car without testing it first, you’re losing your head.

Se te va la olla

“Se te va la olla” translates to something like “your pot is boiling over” and is used to convey that someone is losing their mind or acting irrationally. It

Example: Le dio un puñetazo a ese chico sin venir a cuento. Se le fue la olla.

Translation: He punched the rival team’s player for no reason. He lost his mind.

Estar Zumbado

When someone describes you as “zumbado,” it means truly crazy or mentally disturbed. This expression suggests a more serious level of instability compared to some of the previous phrases. You can use it in a colloquial or informal context to express genuine concern about someone’s mental state.

Example: No sé qué le pasa a Roberto, insulta a cualquiera que habla con él, pero creo que está zumbado. Deberíamos hablar con él.

Translation: I don’t know what’s wrong with Roberto, he insults anyone who talks to him, but I think he’s crazy. We should talk to him.

Estar chalado

Similar to “estar pirado,” “estar chalado” denotes a person being crazy or losing their mind. This expression is commonly used to describe someone whose behavior is irrational or unpredictable.

Example: Desde que murió su abuelo parece que está completamente chalado.

Translation: Since his grandfather died it seems like he’s completely crazy.

Te falta un tornillo

Literally translating to “you’re missing a screw”. “Te falta un tornillo” suggests a mentally unstable or behavior in a way that is considered abnormal for someone. This Spanish expression is mainly useful to describe funny crazy behaviors.

Example: Se está bañando en agua helada en enero, creo que le falta un tornillo.

Translation: He’s having a bath in ice water in winter, I think he’s missing a screw.

Estar como una regadera

“Estar como una regadera” translates to “to be like a watering can”. This funny expression oten describes someone who is acting crazy or irrational.

Example: Después de perder su cartera, estaba llorando y riendo al mismo tiempo, está como una regadera.

Translation: After losing his wallet, he was crying and laughing at the same time, it’s like a shower.

Estar como una cabra

This expression, “estar como una cabra,” means “to be like a goat”. It describes someone who is behaving in a crazy or unpredictable manner. Therefore, yes, to be like a GOAT in Spanish does not mean you are the greatest of all time.

Example: Se quitó los pantalones para celebrar el gol, está como una cabra.

Translation: He took off his pants to celebrate the goal, he looks crazy.

Don’t get mad with the Spanish slang

In conclusion, all these expressions are useful to express eccentricity or being mad in spanish slang. From the light-hearted “estar pirado” to the more serious “estar zumbado”, these phrases allow speakers to paint vivid pictures of someone’s mental state.

Just like any language, Spanish idioms provide unique insights into cultural perspectives on madness, blending seriousness with a touch of humor and affection.

So, the next time you encounter someone whose behavior seems a bit off, consider using one of these colorful expressions to capture the essence of their temporary departure from sanity.

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