Spanish Expressions Involving Body Parts

Spanish language is rich in idiomatic expressions that often incorporate body parts to convey emotions, actions, or attitudes. In this article, we will explore ten intriguing Spanish expressions that use body parts to add flavor to conversations and provide insight into the language’s cultural nuances.

Ser el Ojito Derecho (To Be the Apple of Someone’s Eye)

Ser el ojito derecho de alguien

“Ser el ojito derecho” literally means “to be the right little eye”. It describes someone who is particularly cherished or favored by someone else, much like the apple of one’s eye in English. This expression reflects the importance of the eyes in conveying deep affection and admiration.

You can use this expression in many contexts, but it is commonly useful to describe relationships like father >> son, teacher >> student or boss >> employee.

Levantarse con el Pie Izquierdo (To Get Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed)

“Levantarse con el pie izquierdo” translates to “to get up with the left foot.” Just as in English, it signifies starting the day on a sour note, feeling irritable or grumpy. It emphasizes the role of the left foot in determining one’s mood.

Estar Hasta las Narices (To Be Fed Up or Annoyed)

“Estar hasta las narices” translates to “to be up to the noses” in English. It’s used when someone is thoroughly annoyed or fed up with a situation or a person. The reference to the nose emphasizes the level of irritation, much like saying someone is “up to here” in English.

Dar la Espalda (To Turn One’s Back)

“Dar la espalda” literally means “to give one’s back.” It is used to describe the act of turning away from something or someone, often as a gesture of rejection or indifference. This expression highlights the significance of the back as a symbol of one’s stance or attitude.

In a more metaphorical meaning it often refers to a situation when a person or a group of people leave alone someone, specially during a process when that individual needs some help.

Ir de Culo (To Fail Miserably)

“Ir de culo” translates to “to go buttocks.” This humorous expression is used when someone fails miserably or encounters a streak of bad luck due to overwhelming and stressfull situations. It underscores the unexpectedness and awkwardness of the moment.

Tener Manos de Mantequilla (To Have Butter Hands)

“Tener manos de mantequilla” is used to describe someone who frequently drops or fumbles things. It emphasizes the idea that their hands are as slippery as butter, making them prone to accidents.

Estar con el Agua al Cuello (To Be in Deep Water)

“Estar con el agua al cuello” means “to be with water at the neck.” It describes a situation where someone is in deep trouble or facing a crisis, emphasizing the literal vulnerability of the neck in such circumstances.

Hacer la Vista Gorda (To Turn a Blind Eye)

“Hacer la vista gorda” translates to “to make the fat view.” It means deliberately ignoring or turning a blind eye to something, usually a problem or wrongdoing. The reference to a “fat view” underscores the intention to avoid seeing the issue.

Sin Pelos en la Lengua (To Not Have Hairs on Your Tongue)

When someone “no tiene pelos en la lengua”, it means they are brutally honest, never holding back their opinions or criticisms. “Sin pelos en la lengua” meaning is a vivid expression that implies that a truthful person’s tongue is so clear of obstacles (like hairs) that they can speak their mind without hesitation.

Llegar a las Manos (To Reach the Hands)

To “llegar a las manos” means a situation has escalated to a physical confrontation or fight. The reference to hands underscores the physical nature of the conflict.

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