12 Spanish idiomatic expressions with bread
It would be an understatement to say that Spaniards eat with bread on the table. People in Spain love bread so much you’ll often see them toting 2 or 3 baguettes at a time. It’s no wonder they have so many expressions using their favourite food. Read on to find out what funny and useful idiomatic expressions with bread the Spanish use.
1. el pan de cada día
Something that is “daily bread” is something that is routine, standard or happens often.
Los robos en la ciudad son el pan de cada día.
Thefts in the city are a daily occurrence.
2. con su pan se lo coma
This is used to express or show a feeling of indifference towards someone else’s decisions.
Me trató muy mal y ahora tiene que pagar las consecuencias. Con su pan se lo coma.
He treated me badly and now he has to pay the consequences. That’s his problem.
3. ser pan comido
If something is “pan comido” it’s a piece of cake, a walk in the park, something very easy to do.
Ese exámen será pan comido.
That exam will be a piece of cake.
4. contigo, pan y cebolla
This expression is used between couples to show that they will go through anything with them, similar to “through thick and thin” or “in good times and in bad”.
-Me despidieron del trabajo hoy, mi amor.
-No pasa nada. Contigo, pan y cebllo.
“I got let go from work today, my love.”
“Don’t worry. I’m with you through thick and thin.”
5. ser más bueno que el pan / ser un pedazo de pan
What could be better than bread? This expression is used to talk about someone who is a very good person.
Lidia es voluntaria en la Cruz Roja. Esa chica es más buena que el pan.
Lidia volunteers at the Red Cross. That girl is a saint.
6. estar más bueno que el pan
This means to be very attractive.
Conocí a un chico ayer en la fiesta que está más bueno que el pan.
I met a guy at the party yesterday who is super sexy.
7. más largo que un día sin pan
This expression literally means “longer than a day without bread”. In Spain, this means a very long time!
La última peli de Almodóvar fue más larga que un día sin pan. ¡Duró 3 horas!
The latest Almodóvar movie was longer than a day without bread. It was 3 hours long!
8. ganarse el pan
This expression literally means to earn one’s bread. It may not be obvious, but there is a similar expression in English that simply swaps the word bread with “dough”. Bread was a daily necessity in the past so to earn one’s bread simply means to earn a living or more colloquially put bread on the table.
Mi papá vende coches para ganarse el pan.
My dad sells cars to make a living.
9. al pan, pan y al vino, vino
To call bread, bread and wine, wine means to call something as it is, to be straightforward and direct without talking around something. In English, there is an old expression which is “to call a spade a spade”.
Aceptémoslo. No era para tí porque es un borracho. Al pan, pan y al vino, vino.
Let’s accept it He wasn’t for you because he’s a drunk. Call a spade a spade.
10. Dios le da pan a quien no tiene dientes
“God gives bread to those with no teeth”. Just imagining this image, it’s quite clear that we are talking about something unfair in life.
Anoche me dieron una multa cuando llevaba a mi abuela al hospital. No cabe duda que Dios le da pan a quien no tiene dientes.
Yesterday I got a ticket when I was taking my grandmother to the hospital. There’s no doubt that life is unfair.
11. de toma pan y moja
Imagine eating something so good that you just want to soak up every last bit of it. That’s where this expression comes from. Literally meaning “take bread and soak it”, it could translate into something like “finger-licking good” or “mouth-watering”. Every last bit of something needs to be eaten. It can be used to describe food or if used more casually, a very good-looking person.
La mamá de Juan prepara una paella de toma pan y moja.
Juan’s mom prepares a mouth-watering paella.
La hermana de Pablo es de toma pan y moja.
Pablo’s sister is drop-dead gorgeous.
12. nacer con un pan bajo el brazo
In English there’s an expression “to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth”. Of course, the Spanish version needs to include bread. This means that someone is born without want of anything or born into a wealthy family.
Ese niño tuvo todo desde pequeño. Nació con un pan bajo el brazo.
That boy had everything since he was little. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.