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Home » Language Resources » Popular Spanish Sayings » Letter A

Spanish Sayings - Letter A

Popular Spanish Sayings

Saying: A buen puerto vas por leña
English: To bark up the wrong tree
Comments and History:Expresses the idea of going to the least likely place for help, using the action of two former sailors who were used to arriving at ports where they were given wood or coal for the boilers of their boats. 

Saying: A caballo regalado no se le miran los dientes
English: never look a gift horse in the mouth
Comments and History: When someone receives a gift they should do so without questioning its value, accepting it for how it is. 
The final part of the idiom comes from the custom of checking horse's teeth to know their health status and age.

Saying: A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando
English: Put your trust in God, and keep your powder dry
Comments and History: Not only only do you have to pray for God to help us; we ourselves must do everything possible. It can be understood as "God helps those who helps themselves".

Saying: A grandes males, grandes remedios
English:Desperate times call for desperate measures
Comments and History:However bad something is, our solution and effort will be greater.

Saying: A otro perro con ese hueso
English: Tell that to the marines!
Comments and History: An expression used as a way to discourage someone from thinking something. 

Saying: A río revuelto, ganacia de pescadores
English:It's good fishing in troubled waters
Comments and History: In troubling moments, someone will benefit. The expression comes from real fisherman, who would be in choppy water, but it meant there were lots of fish.

Saying: Ahogarse en un vaso de agua
English:To make a mountain out of a mole hill
Comments and History: Surrender at the first hurdle. Be excessively overwhelmed by a problem.

Saying: Al que madruga, Dios lo ayuda
English:The early bird catches the worm
Comments and History:The earlier we do things, the better the results will be.

Saying: Atar los perros con longaniza
English: To throw money out the window
Comments and History: The saying goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, near the city of Bejar, famous for the quality of its sausages, where a famous sausage maker, Constantino Rico, lived - known as "el choricero".

This man had several workers put in the basement of his home. One of them had the weird idea of tying a dog to the leg of a bench, using a chain of sausages instead of a chain.

A young boy soon came - the son of a factory worker - to give a message to his mother, he saw what was happening and immediately took to spreading the news that in the house of the "Choricero", they tied up dogs using sausages.

The expression, needless to say, was immediately accepted in the town and became a synonym for the exaggeration of the demonstration of wealth, opulence and waste.

Alphabetical index of Popular Sayings

B - 6 Sayings

Bailar con la más fea
Bajar la guardia

C - 9 Sayings

Cada loco con su tema
Caiga quien caiga

D - 11 Sayings

Dar en el clavo
Dar gato por liebre

E - 13 Sayings

El hilo de la vida
El mismo que viste y calza

F - 2 Sayings

Favor con favor se paga
Fumar la pipa de la paz

G - 4 Sayings

Gajes del oficio
Gastar saliva

H - 7 Sayings

Hacer la vista gorda
Hacerse agua la boca

I - 5 Sayings

Ir de mal en peor
Ir de punta en blanco

L - 9 Sayings

La espada de Damocles
La excepción hace (o confirma) la regla

M - 5 Sayings

Más cale maña que fuerza
Mal de muchos, consuelo de tontos

N - 6 Sayings

No faltaba más
No hay dos sin tres

O - 3 Sayings

Obras son amores y no buenas razones
Ojo por ojo, diente por diente

P - 6 Sayings

Pagar los platos rotos
Parar el carro

Q - 5 Sayings

Quemarse las cejas (o las pestañas)
Querer es poder

R - 2 Sayings

Rasgarse las vestiduras
Roma no se hizo en un día

S - 6 Sayings

Sólo se vive una vez
Salir el tiro por la culata

T - 6 Sayings

Tal para cual
Tener ojos en la nuca

U - 1 Sayings

Una de cal y una de arena

V - 5 Sayings

Vamos al grano
Venir como anillo al dedo