10 Spanish Idiomatic Expressions with Body Parts

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Someone who has a "hard face" is shameless

You might have not noticed how many expressions using body parts exist in your language. In English, you can give someone the cold shoulder, tell someone to get off your back or somehow end up with your foot in your mouth. Idiomatic expressions are one of the best ways to get to know a language and the culture behind it and they can also be entertaining! Here are 10 of our favourite Spanish idioms using body parts.

1. Tomar el pelo 
To pull (someone’s) leg (lit. take the hair)
Example:
Mi madre prometió llevarme a mi restaurante favorito pero sólo me tomó el pelo.
(My mom promised to take me to my favourite restaurant but she was only pulling my leg)

2. Estar hasta las narices
To be fed up to the neck, to be sick to death (lit. to be up to the nostrils)
Example:
Estoy hasta las narices de tu comportamiento.
(I’m sick to death of your behaviour.)

3. Estar tocado de la cabeza
To be soft in the head, to be a bit crazy (lit. to be touched in the head)
Example:
Ese tío está tocado de la cabeza – va gritando por la calle a las tres de la mañana. 
(That guy is soft in the head – he goes along screaming in the street at three in the morning.

4. Poner los dientes largos
To be green with envy (lit. to make the teeth long)
Example:
Cuando la maestra me felicitó por mi ensayo, Selena se puso los dientes largos.
(When the teacher congratulated me on my essay, Selena went green with envy.)

5. No tener ojos en la cara 
To not have eyes in your head (lit. to not have eyes in your face.)
Example:
¿No tienes ojos en la cara? ¡Ese semáforo estaba en rojo!
!Do you not have eyes in your head? That was a red light!)

6. No tener pelos en la lengua

No tener pelos en la lengua - someone who speaks their mind
No tener pelos en la lengua – someone who speaks their mind

To not mince words, to be outspoken (lit. to not have hairs on the tongue)
Example:
Yo digo lo que pienso – no tengo pelos en la lengua.
(I say what I think – I don’t mince my words.)

7. Comer de la mano
To eat out of someone’s hand
Example:
El nuevo novio de Fernando le tiene comiendo de su mano.
(Fernando’s new boyfriend has him eating out of his hand.)

8. Tener la cara dura

Someone who has a "hard face" is shameless
Someone who has a “hard face” is shameless, Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

To be shameless (lit. to have a hard face)
This expression has also created the adjective caradura which means someone who is without shame.
Example:
¡Laura es una caradura! Volvió a llamar al curro diciendo que está enferma pero vimos que subió fotos en la playa.
(Laura is shameless! She called work again saying she was sick but we saw her post pictures on the beach.)

9. Tener algo entre manos
To have something up one’s sleeve (lit. to have something between hands)
Example:
Creo que mi amigos tienen algo entre manos para mi cumpleaños. Han estado actuando muy extraño.
(I think my friends have something up their sleeves for my birthday – they have been acting very strangely.)

10. Hablar por los codos

Little Miss Chatterbox habla por los codos
Little Miss Chatterbox habla por los codos

To be a chatterbox (lit. to talk through the elbows)
Example:
Mi tía no para de hablar – habla por los codos.
(My aunt doesn’t stop talking – she is a chatterbox.)

We hope you’ve enjoyed these Spanish idiomatic expressions with body parts and that you can smoothly include one here or there into your daily discourse. If you’re curious about learning more expressions or perhaps more grammar or vocabulary, be sure to check out our Spanish classes in the heart of Barcelona. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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