Archive | junio 2014

Touch something/someone with a ten-foot pole

“De lejitos / con pincitas

Click on the image form more information

Click on the image form more information

  • Meaning

To avoid contact with somebody or someone. To stay far from someone or something at all cost.

Click on the image form more information

Click on the image form more information

  • Origin

This idiom was coined by a writer who wanted to emphasize the fact that there are situations or persons you prefer to stay far from because they might be dangerous, disgusting, or simply make you feel uncomfortable. If you saw alion lying on the ground, how would you know that it is dead or just sleeping? If it were dead, you wouldn´t be in danger. But how could you know? Maybe by using a ten-foot pole you might move the lion and check. If it wakes up, you still have time to run away. A similar expression is “Like a pest”.

Click on the image form more information

Click on the image form more information

  • Example

When interviewed about the famous bite Luis Suarez gave him, Giorgio Chiellini joked and said that next time he played versus him, he wouldn´t touch him even with a ten-foot pole!

 

Click on the image form more information

Click on the image form more information

 

 

Water over the dam

“Eso es historia /

Ya lo pasado, pasado

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

Things that belong to the past cannot possibly be changed. We can think about them, learn from them, reflect about them, but never change them.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

The idea behind this expression is simple. When water flows, as in a river,  it cannot go back just by a mere wish. We use this expression to refer to thing that have an irreversible outcome. Even so, we can use the third conditional to think about them, and to learn a moral from them, but we cannot go back to the past and change the situation. A similar expression to this one is, “water under the bridge.”

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

Mom: Ok, hun. You are a teenager, you are single, you don´t have a fiancé and wow, we know you are pregnant. What are we going to do?

Girl: Oh, mom! I wish I could go back in time and refused to have gone to that lousy party.

Mom: Bla, bla, bla… That is water over the dam. Set your feet on the ground.  What are we going to do?

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

 

 

 

Wheel and deal

“Pactar un negocio, cerrar un trato

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

To be involved in important negotiations so as to make lots of money or to get lots of benefits out of a big business.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

Speaking purely about business, we can say that money is the Wheel that makes the world move.  Then if you are an important businessman, you will be dubbed as a big Wheel. In fact, big gamblers at casinos who usually played and bet at the roulette called this artifact the Big Wheel and as a consequence they were called wheelers in return. In the gangsters’ world Wheel and Deal is to do big business associated to crime.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

As seen in the TV show Animaniacs…

Pinky: What are we going to do tonight Brain?

The Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky, to wheel and deal to take over the world!

wheel and deal3

A watched pot never boils

“El que espera, desespera

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

There are times when we are anxiously waiting for something to happen. However, the more we wait, the less it happens. Finally, when you decide not to care at all, it occurs.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

Let us picture ourselves watching a pot which is on the stove because we want to enjoy a delicious coffee. We are there, anxiously waiting for the water to boil, but it seems that water is taking forever to get hot enough for us to brew that delicious coffee we are yearning for. The moral of this idiom is that if we want things to happen, we have to relax, keep our lives going and things will come to us when they have to, not when we want them to. Stress and rush are not good advisors.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example  

My students are watching me write this idiom while they are waiting for me to continue with their class. I feel their eyes stabbing on my back as if with their sight they could speed me up to finish son. I just gently turn around and tell them, “A watched pot never boils!”

Click on the image for more informationClick on the image for more information

Click on the image for more informationClick on the image for more information

What is good for the goose is good for the gander

“Lo que es bueno para la vaca, es bueno para el becerro

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

What is good for one person is good for the other, but much more especially for your couple since they share a life project in common.

 

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

First of all, let us analyze the words goose and gander. A goose is a large bird which looks like a big duck. By saying goose, we normally refer to all the species but it is important to know that in a more scientific way, goose is the term that refers to the female and gander is the one used for the male. Nowadays, and going beyond the sex battle, we might say that what is good for the wife is good for the husband. Extending the meaning, we can safely say that what is good for one member of a group is good for the others.

 

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

Wife: What are you supposed to be doing?

Husband: I am taking cough syrup. I have just developed a terrible cough

Wife: But this is not yours. It´s our son´s syrup. Go to the doctor to be prescribed.

Husband: Why spending money unnecessarily? What´s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

 

 

Wash your Hands of Something

“Lavarse las manos

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

Not to accept a responsibility, to withdraw from an association, to get cold feet, or not to accept to be involved in a situation

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

 

  • Origin

We all are familiar with the biblical passage in which Pontius Pilate announced the excited angry mob that he did not want to take any further responsibility about Jesuschrist’s execution. He mentioned he did not approve on that but that he would not stop the crowd´s will, sealing his decision by washing his hands in front of them all. Nowadays, when we accept no further liability on something, we simply say that we wash our hands.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

The governor addressed the citizens last night on TV about the referendum that allowed the state to execute murderers and kidnappers.

The governor, who has always been a democrat and a compassionate human being, raised his voice against this resolution and he also said that he would just wash his hands of this atrocity that violated human rights.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

Bolt from the Blue

Aparecer de la nada

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Meaning

This expression is used to explain that something shocking happened suddenly, unexpectedly.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

This expression was first used in the 1800’s. When sky is blue, it means that everything is going fine. There is nothing to worry about. But if on that calm peaceful day, a bolt or lighting appeared unexpectedly. It would break the peace and calm we were previously enjoying. Now, let us imagine that in any given day, something surprising came to disrupt our normal life. Then, we would be able to say that that shocinkg event came just like a bolt from the blue.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

Principal: What happened here? What did you do to your teacher? Why is he lying on the floor?

Students: We don´t know. We were just having our class; the teacher said, “Let me show you this…” And suddenly, out the blue, the teacher put his hands on his chest, he shouted, “Ahhhh!” And he just fell down.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

Blue Blood

De Sangre Azul

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

 

  • Meaning

Someone who is an aristocrat, who has a nobility title, who is a royal, has an upper crust or is from the high upper class.

 

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Origin

This expression has a Spanish origin. Spain was ruled by the Moors for almost 800 years. It is a fact that many Spaniards hated the Moors who had a darker skin and consequently their veins were not visible from under their skin. Since Spaniards had a lighter skin and you could see their veins under their skin, they appeared to be blue and not red. That is why people started saying that Spaniards were “de sangre azul“.

This expression took up all over Europe when aristocrats, who did not spend much of their time under the sun, had a lighter skin tan farmers whose skin was dark and like the Moors, their veins were not visible from under their skin.

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

  • Example

– Mom, I love Tim so much. We are actually planning our wedding next year. Isn´t it a dream come true?

-What????? Are you crazy? He is penniless. He is a slacker. He is a loser. I don´t want someone like him in my family. I have told you millions of times that if you want to do something in your life, you have to look for a blue blood to marry!

Click on the image for more information

Click on the image for more information

Walking on air

“Andar por las nubes”

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  • Meaning

This idiom, which is similar to be on cloud nine, means to be extremely happy, delighted or joyful.

 

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  •  Origin

This idiom, which was coined in the XX century, is usually related with feelings of extreme happiness. On the other hand, we generally associate the ground, with being realistic, like when we say put your feet on the ground or get back to Earth. We also associate the ground level with being depressed. If a person feels sad, we say that this person is down. Conversely, when a person is extremely happy, cheerful, optimistic. if the person is dreaming with open eyes, we can then say that this person is walking on air.

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  • Example

María gave her first love kiss yesterday. Now, she is walking on air.

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

 

Have cross words

“Hacerse de palabras”

 

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  • Meaning

This idiom means to argue with somebody else, to be annoyed with someone else.

 

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  • Origin

Orginally, since ancient times, when two people fought they resorted to their swords to fix the problem in a duel. Nowadays people do not use swords but instead they use words to fight. Words and not swords are our current weapons. Since words is a word that rhymes with swords, it also adds color and makes this idiom more vivid.

 

Click on the image for more

Click on the image for more

  • Example

-I cannot stand my boss. He has always been too rude to me. He takes any opportunity to publicly offend me but this was the last straw!

-The last straw? What do you mean? Did you hit him or something?

-I wish I could have hit him but not. We merely had some cross words in the middle of the meeting. I could not control myself and I just spoke my mind out!

Click on th image for more

Click on th image for more