¿Qué Onda Vos? A Series on Speaking Guatemalan Spanish

“¿Qué onda vos?” is XelaWho’s a monthly guide to speaking Spanish Guatemalan style. This month we’re looking at funny expressions.

Del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho
LITERAL MEANING: From the word to the deed there is much space.
ACTUAL MEANING: Actions speak louder than words.

Dios le da de comer al que no tiene dientes
LITERAL MEANING: God gives food to those without teeth.
Opportunities arise for those who don’t want them.

Donde fuego hubo, cenizas quedan
LITERAL MEANING: Where there was fire, ashes remain.
Bad feelings always remain after a relationship ends.

El lunes ni las gallinas ponen
LITERAL MEANING: On Monday, the chickens don’t even lay eggs.
ACTUAL MEANING: Nobody can get it together on Mondays.

El que al cielo escupe, en la cara le cae
LITERAL MEANING: He who spits into the sky gets it in the face.
What goes around comes around.

Dar una jaboneada
LITERAL MEANING: To give (someone) a soaping.
ACTUAL MEANING: To reprimand someone verbally.

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