Home LifestyleExpat Community México´s popular sayings and phrases about food and their short translations

México´s popular sayings and phrases about food and their short translations

by Yucatan Times
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“Enjoy, eat and drink, life is short” and many more popular sayings are a reflection of our great love for food”.

September 01, 2021.- Why do we like what we like? Perhaps it is family heirlooms, cultural influences, emotional reasons, social pressures, convenience, cost, and perhaps the need is what ultimately shapes our taste. Either way, we all have sayings about food that are part of our everyday lives.

When it comes to sayings, some are pretty much the same sentence in English as in Spanish, only translated.

  • Más vale tarde que nunca – Better late than never
  • Matar dos pájaros de un tiro – To kill two birds with one stone
  • Es pan comido – It’s a piece of cake
  • No juzgues un libro por su portada – You can’t judge a book by its cover
  • Cuando los cerdos vuelen – When pigs fly

Other phrases such as “Más sabe el diablo por Viejo que por Diablo” meaning something like “the devil knows better for being old than for being wise”, are just an accumulation of cultural information that reflects the popular vision and even modus Vivendi of the people, in addition to remembering historical episodes and events that determine the evolution of the phrase itself. Here we leave you some phrases that you surely heard and maybe never have really fully understood “let’s check them out”.

Of course one of the main elements of Mexican Culture is food, so dozens of sayings are somehow related to food, cooking, or edible stuff in general.

NO SON ENCHILADAS “These are not enchiladas!” (it’s not that easy)

DONDE SEA SE CUECEN HABAS “Everywhere, beans are cooked”. (Everywhere there are difficulties)

TE HACEN DE CHIVO LOS TAMALES “They are making you goat tamales” (They’re cheating on you)

TE PONEN A PARIR CHAYOTES “You are going to be giving birth to chayotes” (It will be very difficult) *Chayote is a type of squash covered with pointy little thorns like a porcupine

“ERES ARROZ DE TODOS LOS MOLES.” You’re the rice on every Mole (You are everywhere)

“LE PONE MUCHA CREMA A SUS TACOS.” You put too much cream to your tacos (You are very exaggerated)

“DE CHILE, MOLE Y ATOLE-.”. (A little bit of everything)

“TE DAN ATOLE CON EL DEDO.” They are feeding you atole with one finger (they are deceiving/cheating on you)

“DE LENGUA ME COMO UN TACO”. Of tongue, I can eat a whole taco (I don’t believe you) *Of course, tongue tacos are pretty popular throughout Mexico.

“YA SE HIZO LA MACHACA O ESTE ARROZ YA SE COCIÓ” This rice is cooked (done deal).

SALE MAS CARO EL CALDO QUE LAS ALBONDIGAS “The broth was more expensive than the meatballs.” (What you thought was going to be easier part, ends up being the hardest part).

 EL QUE TIENE MAS SALIVA TRAGA MAS PINOLE” “He who has more saliva, swallows more pinole”, (related to somebody that uses a lot of saliva, talks too much or is able to talk his way out of trouble).

NO PUEDES CHIFLAR Y COMER PINOLE “You cannot whistle and eat pinole at the same time.” (You can’t do two things simulteauonusly).

*Pinole, also called pinol or pinolillo, is roasted ground maize, which is then mixed with a combination of cocoa, agave, cinnamon, chia seeds and vanilla.

Medirle el agua a los tamales “To measure the water on the tamales” (to measure the consequences of one’s acts.)

TE AGARRARON TRAGANDO CAMOTE “They caught you swallowing sweet potato” (they caught you off guard)

DE LENGUA ME COMO UN TACO Of tongue, I can eat a taco.” (I don’t believe your lies) *Of course, tongue tacos are pretty popular throughout Mexico.

DARSE UN TACO DE OJO “Treat yourself an eye taco“, (to visually enjoy the looks of a person) *Of course, eye tacos are pretty popular in some parts of Mexico, including Mexico City.

AQUI SOLO MIS CHICHARRONES TRUENAN “Here, only my chicharrones crumble” (Here, I command)

The Yucatan Times hopes you have enjoyed this fun list of Mexican phrases and sayings for your better understanding of Mexican culture.

TYT Newsroom

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