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Sweating like a chicken: 18 Spanish phrases to complain about the heat like a true Spaniard

The scorching temperatures that Spain usually gets during the summer months and sometimes earlier mean Spaniards are well equipped with a colourful variety of expressions to complain about the heat.

Sweating like a chicken: 18 Spanish phrases to complain about the heat like a true Spaniard
Spanish tennis star Rafa Nadal 'sweating like a chicken'; read on to find out more. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

¡Qué calor hace! – It’s really hot! The most straightforward and generic way of making it known that you are indeed very hot.

¡Cómo ataca Lorenzo! – What an attack by Lorenzo! In Spain the sun is traditionally referred to as Lorenzo and the moon as Catalina. So if Lorenzo is ‘attacking’ you, it’s the sun’s rays that you find particularly punishing. 

¡Hace un calor de perros! What a dog day afternoon! It’s interesting that English has a similar expression to speak about hot summer afternoons and the feelings of lethargy it provokes, although in Spanish it can be used at all times of the day.  You can also say hace un frío de perros (it’s bitter cold).

spanish expressions hot weatherPhoto: Adrian Smalley/Flickr

¡Cómo pega! – It really hits you! Here’s a way of saying that it’s scorching hot and that you find the sun’s rays so intense, it’s as if they were giving you a beating.

¡Qué horno! – It’s like an oven out there! There are many places in Spain’s interior where it will feel like you’re being baked alive during the suffocating summer months. No wonder Spaniards usually head en masse to the coast to cool down in the sea. 

¡Me aso! – I’m roasting! Here’s another way of describing how it feels like you’re being cooked alive.

spanish language expressions heatPhoto: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

¡Me achicharro! – I’m being burnt to a crisp! And here’s an expression to say that you’re now overcooked. 

¡Hace un calor de la ostia/de cojones/del carajo! It’s sacramental bread hot, balls’ hot or f*cking hot! Because profanity is part and parcel of most daily speech in Spain and cojones and ostias are a great way of spicing up your language, we thought we’d throw in these extra ones for when you want to give the heat a piece of your mind. 

Estoy sudando como un pollo/un cerdo OR estoy sudando tinta – I’m sweating like a chicken/pig OR I’m sweating ink. Here are three fantastic Spanish expressions to let people know that your armpits currently have the sprinklers on due to the insane heat.

spanish language expressions heatPhoto: Jaime Reina/AFP

¡Hace un sol de justicia!: It’s punishingly sunny! This is of course a literal translation (and a loose one at that), but this expression is used to denote that the sun’s intensity is capable of justiciar, which in Spanish can mean to punish, bringing to justice or put to death. 

¡Hace tanto calor que hasta las ranas van con cantimplora! It’s so hot that even the frogs carry water bottles! If you use this brilliant metaphor with a native Spanish speaker, they’re likely to be very impressed. They may just not show it if they’re in the process of melting to the pavement due to the heat.

spanish expressions hot weatherPhoto: Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

¡Menudo bochorno! It’s stifling! Use this expression to describe hot and humid weather that’s so muggy you’ve practically been glued to your sofa.

Hace un calor que se puede freír un huevo en la calle – It’s so hot you can fry an egg in the street! This has been literally tried and tested in cities such as Seville and Madrid, where the mercury hitting 40 C during the summer is a given year in year out.

Nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno – Nine months of winter, three months of hell. Here’s a Spanish weather proverb for our readers living in Spain’s interior, which translates as ‘nine months of winter, 3 months of hell’. Technically it refers to the harsh differences in climate in Spain’s Castille regions, but if your part of Spain has bitter cold winters and scorching hot summers, this saying is definitely suited to you.


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Hundreds evacuated as Spain battles wildfires in northwest

Spanish firefighters on Saturday struggled to contain wildfires that have ravaged large tracts in the northwest, as a third summer heat wave grips the country.

Hundreds evacuated as Spain battles wildfires in northwest

Firefighters were battling six blazes in Galicia that have scorched nearly 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres).

Some 700 people have been evacuated from the area around Boiro, where a blaze broke out on Thursday, according to regional officials.

But no casualties have been reported so far.

“The situation remains complicated. Helicopters are not enough to control all of the homes,” the mayor of neighbouring A Pobra do Caraminal, Xose Lois Pinero, wrote on Facebook.

Near the town of Verin, by the border with Portugal, authorities were managing to contain a fire that started Wednesday and is suspected to have been arson, Galicia government said.

Temperatures hit a 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.62 Fahrenheit) high on Thursday, according to the national weather agency. They have eased since, but were expected to remain around 35C across much of the country on Saturday.

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events including heatwaves and droughts more frequent and more intense. They in turn increase the risk of fires, which emit climate heating greenhouse

Spain has faced 366 wildfires since the start of the year, fuelled by scorching temperatures and drought conditions.

The flames have destroyed more than 233,000 hectares, more than in any other nation in Europe, according to the European Union’s satellite monitoring service EFFIS.