The Spanish Language Blog

After talking about expressions such as no tener un pelo de tonto (being not the least bit foolish) and no tener pelos en la lengua (not mincing your words), today we present you with a new expression where hair is key: venir al pelo. Keep reading in English or click here to switch to the Spanish version of this post and spice up your oral expression!

Some expressions such as pulling your hair out are very international and have a meaning that is easily understandable by everyone. However, other sayings are more symbolic and need a short explanation to be correctly interpreted.

This is the case with venir al pelo. In Spanish, we use this expression to describe something that appears to suit a situation perfectly. For example, in the sentence below:

La pregunta de Carmen me viene al pelo para introducir el siguiente tema de la lección.

(Carmen’s question is ideal for me to introduce the next topic of this lesson).

This means that the question Carmen had is very convenient because it serves as a perfect link to the next lesson.

To better understand the origins of this expression, we have to look at its opposite: a contrapelo (against the grain). Both phrases refer to fur used for clothing, accessories, or decoration. The use of fur was very common in the past.

Fur feels different depending on the direction in which we pass our hand over it. If we follow the direction of the hair, it will feel soft and smooth. However, if we go against the grain, we will get a rougher feel.

Similarly, something that viene al pelo (suits the hair) is something that lets the natural discourse of things run smoothly, like the direction of fur.

Now that you know what venir al pelo means, we invite you to watch the video below and discover other expressions with hair. Remember that your Spanish will be richer if you use more of these expressions in your daily speech!


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