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These 20 Latino Sayings Will Get You Through Any And Every Day

Life is complicated. Luckily, Latinos have sayings, or refrains, that help with managing expectations and making better choices. Beyond offering sound advice, some clever sayings, when dropped like jewels at just the right moment, help transform tension into laughter. While some sayings seem outdated, folk witticisms leftover from the early days, they address elements of the human condition that are timeless like love, jealousy, ingratitude, and morality. Whether deciding to stay in a long-distance relationship or looking for an old-school diss, these 20 Latino sayings are worth memorizing and dishing out the next time a golden opportunity presents itself.

Talk About Love

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1. Mejor sola que mala acompañada.

Better to be alone then among bad company. This saying is great for those moments when the fear of being alone starts to kick in. More deeply, this timeless saying is also reflective of the importance of self- love.

2. Amor de lejos, felices los cuatros.

In long-distance love, four people are happy. This pessimistic proverb suggests long-distance relationships provide fertile ground for infidelity. This saying came about before technology helped couples stay more in touch than ever. And yet, the possibility remains.

3. Juntos pero no revueltos.

Together but not mixed. This dicho is the equivalent of saying, “It’s complicated.” It’s a great way to explain why a couple doesn’t live together, or why they are not married.

4. Un clavo saca otro clavo.

A nail removes the other nail. The meaning behind this refrán is that a new relationship, or lover, can help a person get over a failed relationship.

5.  Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.

Out of sight, out of mind. It’s hard to say this refrán without thinking about Alexis & Fido’s 2009 hit song.

Proceed With Caution

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6. Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. This saying has come out of many parents’ mouths. It’s a perfect proverb for helping a person decide what kind of company they should keep.

7. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.

The devil knows more because he is old than because he is the devil. In other words, with age comes wisdom. This saying also warns against elders who may be sly or have bad intentions.

8. Con un dedo no se tapa el sol.

The sun cannot be covered with a finger. This is a great piece of advice that addresses the way self-deception is harmful. It also calls out quick fixes that don’t serve to address larger issues.

9. En boca cerrada no entran moscas.

A closed mouth does not catch flies. This idiom more accurately translates to ‘silence is golden.’ This refrán extols the virtues of discretion.

10. El que no llora, no mama.

The baby who doesn’t cry, doesn’t get milk. This saying is akin to ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ A great refrán serving to inspire vocalization of needs and wants.

Insults Que Arden

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11. A otro perro con ese hueso.

To another dog with that bone. It’s the “talk to the hand” of all the idioms. Deploy this saying at the sight of deception. 

12. Se cree la última Coca Cola del desierto.

He/She thinks they are the last Coca-Cola in the desert. A third-degree burn, this little gem calls out people who think they are more attractive or desirable than everyone else.

13. Se cree mejor de la bolita del mundo.

He/She thinks they are the best in the world. The exact translation fails to convey the hilarity of this saying. While also a diss to those who think they are hot stuff, the saying reduces the entire planet into a tiny, little ball.

14. Se fue de Guatemala a Guata-peor!

This a saying that relies on a play on words, mala meaning bad, and peor meaning worse. The idea is that the person went from one bad situation to an even worse situation.

15. Cuando tu ibas, yo venia.

When you were coming, I was leaving. A great diss from an elder, this dicho also conveys a knowing that comes with age. It works particularly well when directed at teenagers who attempt to be deceptive but are really transparent. 

For the Nostalgia and the LOLs

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16. Quien fue a Sevilla, perdió su silla.

Who went to Sevilla lost his/her chair. Here is a fun phrase that relies on wordplay and rhyme. 

17. Tirar las puertas por las ventanas.

Throw the doors out the windows. This is what you say when you plan to have an absolute blow out party! Think of New Year’s Eve, Cinco de Mayo, or birthdays.

18. Vete a freír papas.

Go fry potatoes. While this saying may seem like an insult, it works as a playful way to tell someone to go to hell without sounding so vulgar.

19. Por si las moscas.

For if the flies. This is more of a nostalgic phrase that means ‘just in case.’ Use it when deciding on whether or not to pack that snack bar or an umbrella. 

20. Calabaza, calabaza, todo el mundo para su casa!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, everyone go home! Our final phrase is a fun way to end the fiesta, or bring the gathering to a close.

READ: 13 Mexican Sayings that Sound Really Weird When They’re Translated Literally

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