Nine Spanish foody expressions that don't mean what you think

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Nine Spanish foody expressions that don't mean what you think
You'll hear the word "huevo" (egg) mixed up a lot in Spain, even when nobody is talking about food. Photo: Alexa's Photos/Pixabay

Spaniards love food, and even when they're not eating or talking about it, the chances are they're using it to describe something else. Here's the lowdown on the most amusing foody expressions in Spanish.


If you hear someone talking abount caring about cucumbers or complaining about bad milk, it's highly possible they are not actually talking about food.

Here are nine of our favourite expressions that use food to talk about something completely different.


Es del año de la pera (literal translation: it is from the year of the pear)

Photo: dolorvspw/Depositphotos

This is used to refer to old objects, especially when something is so old that you can't remember when you got it. In English, phrases like 'donkey's years' would be comparable.

Estar más bueno/Buena que el pan (literal translation: to be better than bread)

Photo: Philippe Ramakers/Pixabay

This is a great way to talk about someone being attractive or beautiful. So if someone says you're better than bread they're complimenting you for your appearance. If they use ser rather than estar  they're more likely to be referring to a person's noble character.


Estar de mala leche (literal translation: to be of bad milk)

Photo: stetsik/Depositphotos

Milk is used for tonnes of phrases in Spanish. 'To be of bad milk' means you're in a bad mood and it's not only usually a temporary state of mind rather than being permanently grumpy.

READ ALSO: Five ways that 'leche' means more than just 'milk' in Spain


Hay un huevo de gente (literal translation: There are an egg of people)

Un huevo is used in Spanish to say there's a lot of something, similar to mucho/mucha. The number of eggs never changes - it's always one egg (un huevo), so if you want to say you like something a lot you say me gusta un huevo, or if there are fifty cars stuck in a traffic jam you also say un huevo de coches

 Photo: Alexa's Photos/Pixabay


Ser salado (literal translation: to be salty)

In Castillian Spanish, the adjective salado can be used to describe a person who is amusing or charming.

Photo:Quang Nguyen vinh/Pixabay



Me importa un pepino (literal translation: I care a cucumber)

Photo: spaxiax/Depositphotos


When you really don't care for something someone is saying, you can say you 'care a cucumber' as in Spanish it means that you simply don't give a damn.


Vete a freir espárragos (literal translation: go fry asparagus)

Photo: sukr13/Depositphotos

This is a rather odd but commonly used way of telling someone to go away or to leave you alone. A good English equivalent would be telling someone to 'get lost'.


Estar como un flan (literal translation: to be like an egg custard)

Photo: RitaE/Pixabay

Spanish speakers use this expression whenever they are nervous about something, like an exam, a presentation or an event. It basically means to be a nervous wreck. Ser un flan is a colloquial way of saying that you're shaking like a leaf.


Ser mi media naranja (literal translation: to be my half orange)

If you refer to someone as your media naranja in Spain, it means you consider that person to be your soulmate or better half. It's not quite the same as saying two peas in a pod as media naranja applies in the romantic sense only.

Photo: gate74/Pixabay



This list was compiled by LAE Madrid , a Spanish academy in Madrid that is accredited by the Insitituto Cervantes. It offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families.To see more phrases with food, check out LAE Madrid's Facebook Live Spanish classes on YouTube.



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