Colombian Spanish is often described as the best and clearest version of the language but, like all nations, we choose to use it in our own particular way. Here are a few Colombian sayings that may make no sense, but still make perfect sense:
Durmió conmigo anoche o qué, que ya no saluda
“You slept with me last night then, the fact you’re not greeting me?” gently makes the point that it’s impolite not to greet someone.
No me abra los ojos que no le voy a echar gotas
The classic “Don’t open your eyes like that at me, I’m not giving you eye drops,” strikes a chord with many a Colombian child.
Con hambre, no hay pan duro
“There’s no such thing as hard bread if you’re hungry,” is a firm guilt-inducing Colombianism that has shamed many a child into eating their dinner.
Duerme más que un gato con anemia
“He/she sleeps more than a cat with anaemia.” Yep. It’s lost on us too.
Mugre que no mata, engorda
“Dirt that doesn’t kill you, makes you fat.” A gross yet approving expression for a person eating something they’ve previously dropped on the floor.
Tengo un filo, que si me agacho me corto
“I have such a blade, if I bend over I’ll cut myself,” means you are very, very hungry.
¿Usted qué come que adivina?
“What do you eat that makes you guess so?” is a Colombianism for someone sharp enough to guess what you’re thinking.
El que tiene tienda que la atienda
“The person who has the shop, attends it,” is a warning that you must always be responsible for your own things.
Le cuento el milagro pero no el santo
“I’ll tell you the miracle, but not the saint,” is the salvation of Colombian gossips, who want to reveal what has happened without disclosing who is responsible.
Son como uña y mugre
“They’re like a fingernail and dirt,” is a charming Colombian expression for describing close friends.
Es más feo que carro visto por debajo
If something is “uglier than a car observed from below,” you’ve got to be thinking you’re seeing it from the worst angle.
Colgar los guayos
Colombians love soccer so much they say someone has “hung up their soccer boots” when they die.
¡Se nos creció el enano!
“The dwarf has grown on us,” is best used when a small problem gets out of hand.
Habla hasta por los codos
The perfect phrase for someone who “talks up a storm”.
Le dio una mano
Literally meaning “gave a hand to” this phrase is used when something, such as Colombia’s soccer team, beats something else.
Dios le da pan al que no tiene diente
“God gives bread to those who have no teeth,” is a very Colombian way of remarking that a person has something they cannot, or will not, appreciate.
If you love to say things the local way, the answer is Colombia. If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.
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