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Dichos! The Wit and Whimsy of Spanish Sayings

Dichos! The Wit and Whimsy of Spanish Sayings

The author of the classic Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish—more than 100,000 copies sold—presents an indispensable guide to over 280 phrases used across Latin America.

February 2019
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216 pages | 4.5 x 6.5 |

One of the most challenging—and entertaining—aspects of learning another language is the idiom. Those quirky phrases, steeped in metaphor and colorful cultural references, enliven conversation and make your cross-cultural communication familiar, fun, and meaningful. ¡Dichos! (Sayings) brings us a vibrant compendium of both age-old and brand-new expressions from across Latin America, compiled by the language enthusiast whose Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish transformed thousands of readers’ interactions with the Spanish language.

¡Dichos! is divided into thematic sections covering topics ranging from games and relaxation to politics, macho men, and Mondays. Spanish speakers can also use the book to identify the spot-on/best slangy English equivalent for a Spanish-language idiom. Packed with gems like La barba me huele a tigre, y yo mismo me tengo miedo (My beard smells of tiger, and I’m even afraid of myself) and Para todo mal, mezcal; para todo bien, también (For everything bad, mezcal; for everything good, likewise), this book is the ultimate tool for taking your language skills to the next level as you navigate nuance with humor and linguistic agility.

  • Las gracias
  • Introduction
  • 1. ¿Que what?
  • 2. Las reglas
  • 3. El juego
  • 4. Ciencias políticas
  • 5. Llorar y llorar
  • 6. Macho, macho men
  • 7. Los penitentes
  • 8. Buenos consejos
  • 9. Mejores consejos
  • 10. Ya los pajaritos cantan . . .
  • 11. San Lunes
  • 12. De vuelta al yugo
  • 13. Los clásicos
  • 14. Es un buen tipo . . .
  • 15. Colgando los tenis
  • 16. Inventando pretextos
  • 17. El reino animal
  • 18. Símiles y similares
  • 19. De boca en boca
  • 20. El podero$o caballero
  • 21. Las penas
  • 22. ¡Ándale, ándale!
  • 23. Las redes sociales
  • 24. ¡Salud!
  • 25. El pan de los pobres
  • 26. El karma

Joseph J. Keenan
Mexico City

During thirty years of living and traveling in Latin America, Joseph J. Keenan has worked as a journalist and conservationist across the countries of the region. His top-selling previous book, Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish, is now available in an updated 20th-anniversary edition.


Available for Kindle
Available on Google Play
Available on Kobo
Available for Nook
Available on the Apple Store

This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca