Some Funny Spanish Phrases That Will Tickle Your Funny Bone

Gritty Spanish

There’s no reason not to have fun with Spanish.

Whether you’re a high school student or adult learner, these funny Spanish sayings will tickle your fancy and allow you to speak with greater colloquial understanding.

In this post you’ll learn 10 funny Spanish idiomatic expressions and example phrases.

We even got one of voice actresses who appears in our excellent Gritty Spanish Audios to repeat those phrases.

It doesn’t get better than this!  Enjoy!

1.  Estar En La Edad Del Pavo

Let’s break down this phrase to get to the direct translation. Estar is a verb that means “to be.” La edad means “the age.”

Pavo means “turkey.”

So literally, this phrase translates to: To be in the age of the turkey.

This is one of many funny things to say in Spanish, and as an idiom, it means to be a teenager. Turkeys are awkward animals, just as teenagers must pass through an awkward age.

Examples with Gritty Spanish Voice Actress:

“José es un malcriado, cree que puede hacer lo que él quiera, se lo perdono porque está en la edad del pavo.”

“José is spoiled, he thinks he can do whatever he wants, I forgive him because he is in the age of the turkey (a teenager).”

“No te adelantes en la vida, apenas estás en la edad del pavo, te queda camino por recorrer.”

“Do not get ahead in life, you’re hardly a teen, you have a long way to go.”

2.  Tirar La Casa Por La Ventana

Again, let’s start with a direct translation. Tirar is a verb that means “to throw.”

La casa means “the house” and la ventana means “the window.” Literally, this means: To throw the house through the window.

Sarcasm in Spanish is quite common, and this is no exception. We all know, unless you’re talking about a dollhouse, this is quite impossible to do.

But what it actually means is money is no object.

If you’ve ever heard the English phrase “To spare no expense,” then this is the Spanish equivalent.

So when someone is spending a lot of money without even thinking about it, go on a spending spree, spend like crazy, etc that person is tirando la casa por la ventana.

Examples with audio:

“Ahora que a Víctor le aumentaron el sueldo, seguro va a tirar la casa por la ventana.

“Now that they increased Víctor’s salary, I am sure he is going to go on a shopping spree.”

“Compraron teléfono, televisor, muebles y camas, ¡están tirando la casa por la ventana!

“They bought telephones, TV, furnitures and beds, they are spending like crazy!”

3.  Ser Pan Comido

Ser is another verb which means “to be.” Whether or not you use ser or estar is one of those things in Spanish that depends on how you’re using it.

Pan means “bread” and comido means “eaten.” This phrase directly translates to: To be bread eaten.

Usually it is used as “es pan comido” because it is referring to something that is easy, the translation would be “it is eaten bread”

What it actually means is that something was easy. In English you might say something was a piece of cake.

It’s no trouble to eat cake, just as it’s no trouble to eat bread.

Examples with audio:

“El profesor no es muy exigente, así que ese examen va a ser pan comido.”

“The teacher is not very demanding, so that test is going to be a piece of cake.”

“No te preocupes, entender la dirección es muy fácil, llegar a esa casa es pan comido.”

“Don’t worry, understanding that address is really easy, getting to that house is eaten bread (or a piece of cake).”

4.  Ponte Las Pilas

Ponte comes from the verb poner, which means “to put.” It’s the command conjugation.

Las lase are “the batteries.” Ponte las pilas means: Put in your batteries.

Literally, we know that humans don’t require batteries. In fact, you should never ingest them or put them in your body in any way.

But as an idiom, ponte las pilas means “wake up” or “look alive.” Another version of this idiom is simply: “Ponte pilas.”

Examples with audio:

“Si no te pones las pilas, te van a quitar lo que es tuyo hermano.”

“If you don’t wake up, they are gonna take away what is yours bro.”

“Te van a quitar el puesto número 1 en la competencia, así que ponte las pilas.”

“They are going to take away number 1 from you in the competition, so look alive.”

5.  Tomar El Pelo

Tomar is a verb that means “to take.” El pelo means “the hair.”

Can you guess what this phrase literally means? To take hold of the hair.

It’s the equivalent to saying, “To pull one’s leg” in English. It means someone is being made fun of.

It can also mean that someone is a fool and therefore the future does not concern him or her.

Examples with audio:

“Lo que me estás contando parece mentira, ¿me estás tomando el pelo?

“What you are telling me is unbelievable, are you pulling my leg? (or holding my hair)”

“Todos se ríen de mí, creo que me están tomando el pelo.”

“Everyone laughs at me, I think they are pulling my leg (or holding my hair).”

6.  Tener Mala Leche

Tener is a verb that means “to have”, mala is an adjective that means “bad” and leche means “milk”. So literally this phrase in English is: To have bad milk.

This phrase is used by native Spanish speakers when they want to refer to bad luck, tener mala leche is literally to have bad luck.

Have you ever had sour milk? It certainly doesn’t inspire a pleasant mood.

Examples with audio:

“A penas salió de su casa se cayó al suelo por descuidado, ¡qué mala leche!”

“Just when he got out of his house he fell in the floor because he is so clueless, such bad luck”

Tengo muy mala leche, ya que justo cuando era mi turno en la fila, cerraron el negocio.”

“I have really bad milk/luck, because just when it was my turn on the line, they closed the place.”

7.  Sin Pelos En La Lengua

In Spanish, sin means “without.” You might remember from above that pelo means “hair”; here, we’ve pluralized it as pelos.

La lengua means “tongue.” Quite literally, this phrase means: Without hair in your tongue.

Gross to think about, right? But funny, too.

What it actually means is someone who doesn’t mince their words, someone outspoken that does not mind on telling the truth even when that truth sounds really bad.  Someone who doesn’t bite their tongue.

Examples with audio:

“Pregúntale su opinión a María, ella te va a decir la verdad porque no tiene pelos en la lengua.”

“Ask Maria her opinion, she is going to tell you the truth because she doesn’t bite her tounge.”

“Me dolió lo que me dijiste, ¡no tienes pelos en la lengua!”

“You hurt me when you said those things, you don’t mince your words!”

8.  Me Pica El Bagre

Picar is a verb that means “to sting/to itch.” It also means to peck at, like how birds will peck at something.

El bagre means “the catfish.”

So this literally means: The catfish is pecking me.

What it actually means when someone says this to you is they’re really hungry. In English, you might hear someone say they’re so hungry they could eat a horse.

We don’t really expect them to eat an entire horse, just as no one expects to see people wandering around with catfish biting them. But both mean: “I’m really hungry.”

Examples with audio:

“Hermano, vamos a comer algo por favor, que me pica el bagre.”

“Let’s go eat something bro, I am super hungry.”

“Se lo comió todo sin dejarle nada a nadie, le picaba mucho el bagre.”

“He ate everything and left nothing for us, he was very hungry.”

9.  Dame Pan Y Dime Tonto

This is two phrases put together by the word y, which means “and” in Spanish. Let’s look at each half of this idiom separately.

The first half, dame pan, uses the verb dar which means to give. Me means to me.

Pan, if you remember, means bread. So the first half of this idiom means: Give me bread.

Okay, pretty self-explanatory. Let’s move on to the second half.

Dime comes from the verb decir, which means “to say.” Because of the me, it means “say to me” or “tell me.”

Tonto means “stupid,” “dumb,” or “idiot.” Literally, the second part of this idiom translates to: Tell me I’m stupid. So this all means “Give me bread and call me dumb”

What this phrase refers to is someone who’s willing to do whatever they must to succeed or someone  that have the mentality of, “I don’t care about other people’s opinions as long as I’m getting what I want“.

Sure, it doesn’t make sense literally, but it is an idiom and a really weird one at that.

This is used in situations when someone doesn’t mind to put up with something annoying (to be called a dumb) if he is going to get something in return (the bread)

Examples with audio:

“Mi jefe me llama en horas no laborales, pero pronto me va a ascender, así que dame pan y dime tonto.”

“My boss is calling me out of office hours, but he is going to promote me soon, so give me bread and call me dumb.”

“Si me vas a tratar mal por lo menos dame algo bueno a cambio, ¡dame pan y dime tonto!”

“If you are going to treat me bad at least give me something in return, give me bread and call me dumb!“

10.  Estar Como Una Cabra

There’s estar again, which means “to be.” Como means “like.”

Una cabra means “a goat.” So this translates to: To be like a goat.

What it actually means, however, is to be crazy or out out your mind . Have you ever analyze the behavior of a goat? This actually makes a lot of sense…

Examples with audio:

“Daniela perdió el control y empezó a correr desnuda en la calle, está como una cabra

“Daniela got out of control and started running naked in the street, she’s like a goat (crazy)”

Está más loca que una cabra, me gritó sin razón alguna.”

“She’s crazier than a goat, she yelled at me with no reason at all.”

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to trace exactly where all these funny Spanish phrases come from. It’s not like how we know the first document with recorded Spanish dates back to the year 964.

But these phrases developed over time, just like idioms in other languages, which may account for why their direct translations differ so much from their actual meanings.

For tons of fun ways on how to learn Spanish, Visit our Spanish learning blog.