In Practical Spanish, Spanish Lessons

Every language has their own expressions and idioms unique to the culture. Many are the same across languages, some change a few words, and some completely change the expression.

Enjoy this list of 10 popular Spanish idioms with body parts. Use them to practice your Spanish and gain some insight into the Spanish culture.

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Body Vocabulary in Spanish


Spanish head cabeza


Spanish Face Cara


Spanish Elbows Codos


Spanish for Hand Mano


Spanish for Mouth Boca


Spanish Eye Ojo


Spanish for Neck Cuello


Spanish for Nose Narice


Spanish Feet Pies

Spanish Idioms with Body Parts



# Spanish English (Literal) English (Translation)
1 Estar hasta las narices
To be up to the noses To be fed up
2 Hacerse la boca agua
To make the mouth water Make ones mouth water
3 Estar con el agua al cuello
To be with water to the neck To be up to your neck / underwater
4 Echar una mano a alguien To throw a hand to someone To lend a hand to someone
5 Meterse hasta la cabeza en algo
To get oneself up to the head in something To be fully involved / completely immersed
6 No dar pie con bola
To not give a foot with ball Not be on the ball / can’t do anything right
7 Poner al mal tiempo, buena cara
To put to bad weather, a good face To put on a happy face / look on the bright side
8 Hablar por los codos To talk through your elbows To talk a lot / talk till your blue in the face / long winded
9 Levantarse con mal pie To wake up with the wrong foot To wake up on the wrong side of the bed
10 No pegar ojo
To not paste an eye Not sleep a wink


For example …


La pasada noche no pegué ojo
Last night, I didn’t sleep a wink

Hoy todo va mal, me he levantado con mal pie
Today everything is going wrong, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed

María habla por los codos
She talks till she’s blue in the face

Es un periodo complicado, pero hay que poner al mal tiempo buena cara
It’s a complicated time, but you have to put on a happy face

Juan no está preparado para el trabajo. No da pie con bola
Juan is not ready for the job. He can’t do anything right

Ella está metida hasta la cabeza en el negocio
She is fully involved in the business

¿Te echo una mano con la mudanza?
Do you need a hand with your move?

No puedo pagar, estoy con el agua al cuello con deudas
I can’t pay, I’m up to my neck in debt

Cuando veo ese plato se me hace la boca agua
When I see that dish, it makes my mouth water

Estoy hasta las narices de mi jefe
I’m fed up with my boss


Your turn! Use the idioms in a comment below and we’ll correct any mistakes for you. Or, do know other English equivalents for these idioms? Share in the comments.


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Showing 11 comments
  • ste

    Por algo, todo el día he estado hasta las narices.

    • Happy Hour Spanish

      It’s correct grammatically, but you sort of need a specific cause in the beginning of the phrase to make it sound more natural. So instead of ‘por algo’, something like ‘A causa de mi jefe’. Good work! 🙂

  • ste

    Creo que me he levantado con mal pie. 🙂

    • Happy Hour Spanish

      muy bien! perfecto 🙂

  • ste

    Entonces puedo decir…….hoy no doy pie con bola y ahora estoy hasta las narices……..?

    • Happy Hour Spanish

      Sí! Muy bien! 🙂 You could also say something like : ‘Estoy hasta las narices de no dar pie con bola’

  • ste

    Muchas gracias profe 🙂 y gracias por todo, me ayudáis mucho.

  • doug shakespeare

    how do you “say she is very blunt”

    • Happy Hour Spanish

      Hola Doug! Well, the simple translation is ‘ella es muy directa’, as in she is very direct. But another Spanish idiom (with Spanish body parts) is ‘No tiene pelos en la lengua’, which translates to ‘She doesn’t have hair on the tongue’, and also means she is very blunt 🙂

  • Dorothy Marnell


  • david boxwell

    El coche me costó un ojo de la cara. Fue carísimo.

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