Mexican Sayings … with Animal Characters!

Rural life in Mexico has given birth to a lovely collection of sayings… featuring animals!

It’s the turn of the roamers of the Mexican sierras, deserts and jungles, both the tame and the wild, to climb up on stage and star in some teachings and observations on life in the form of...Mexican sayings!

Ready? Curtains up!

We begin with a masterpiece of brevity describing human nature, followed by some reflexions on life and destiny…

La zorra nunca se ve su cola
The vixen never sees her own tail
We tend to be blind to our own shortcomings.

A quien nace afortunado, le ponen huevos los gallos; y a quien nace para ruina, ni las gallinas
For who is born fortunate, even roosters lay eggs; but for who is born to ruin, not even the hens will
The underlying idea here, as well as in many other Mexican sayings, is predestination. “It´s all in the stars”.

Uno corre tras la liebre y el otro, sin correr, la alcanza
One person forever chases the hare and another catches it without seeming even to try.
Some people exert themselves greatly in pursuit of a goal that others attain without even trying.

Arriba ya del caballo, hay que aguantar los reparos
Once up on the horse, one has to bear with it when it rears
Living is compared to riding a horse. And not just any horse but a not particularly docile one: Once on its back it’s a tug of war. So… hold on tight, be strong and be prepared for anything and everything.

Life presents us with all sorts of situations...well, there´s probably a Mexican saying for each:

Cada perico a su estaca, cada chango a su mecate
Each parrot to its perch, each monkey on its rope


A tu palo, gavilán, y a tu matorral, conejo
To your stick, sparrow hawk, to your thicket, rabbit
Each person in his proper place. In other words: “leave me alone to mine!”

Estás viendo a la burra reparar, y todavía le avientas el sombrero
You see the she-donkey shy and you still throw your hat at her?
This saying is a rebuke to somebody for aggravating an already difficult situation.

Al mejor mico se le cae el zapote
(Even) the best (long-tailed) monkey lets the sapote drop
Zapote, or "sapote" in English, is a fruit
“Don´t worry. Things like this can happen to anyone.”

Como el burro del aguador, cargado de agua y muerto de sed
Like the donkey of the water-carrier, loaded with water and dying of thirst
This is said about someone who cannot benefit from the abundance he is surrounded with, either because he cannot see how or because it is not his.

O todos coludos o todos rabones
Either all with tail or all without
This is a call to impartiality without favoritism.

Here comes a moral teaching...and some Mexican sayings about the good, the bad and the ugly in people and their deeds...

Tanto peca el que mata a la vaca como el que le detiene la pata
He who holds the cow’s leg down sins as much as he who kills it
Accomplices to an evil deed should not fool themselves by believing they are any less guilty than the actual perpetrator.

La burra no era arisca, la hicieron a sombrerazos
The she-donkey wasn´t ill-tempered, they made her so, beating her with hats
A person who is distrustful and unfriendly most probably became that way by being treated abusively.

Apenas están saliendo del cascarón y ya quieren poner huevos
They are not even quite out of the shell and already want to lay eggs
This Mexican saying is about over-ambition, not knowing one´s limitations, overestimating one´s strengths and not realizing that one’s level of experience is inadequate for tackling the task at hand.

Cría cuervos y te sacarán los…
Actually.. you'll have to look this up at Spanish Sayings!

More Mexican proverbs featuring animals for you to learn Mexican Spanish!

I just love these Mexican sayings and the way they're evocative of life in the Mexican provincia and of a good natured people with a big heart, a colorful soul and a vivid imagination...the Mexicans!

And by the way, if you care for Mexican food, next on the menu is a yummy collection of Mexican Sayings... featuring mole de olla, frijoles refritos, sopes, garnachas, atole and to finish up... pinole!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Back to Mexican Sayings

Back to Home Page

This is for You!!

An easy and fun way to catapult your Spanish to new heights while you savor the language...

Search this site!

Pages in this Section:
Según el sapo es la pedrada

More Mexican Proverbs for you to learn Mexican Spanish
Contra todo mal, mezcal; contra todo bien, también

More Sayings of the Mexican Spanish Repertoire
Los bravos a la plaza
los mansos al corral

Authentic Mexican Proverbs
Al mejor mico
se le cae el zapote

Mexican Sayings starring Animals
No hay milpa
sin huitlacoche

Mexican Sayings based on... Food!
Al vivo todo le falta, y al muerto todo le sobra
Mexican Sayings... Life, Fortune, Love and Death
Hijo de maguey,

Mexican Sayings

What our readers are saying...

A gem of a site - positively enchanting.

Wow, what an awesome site! I just spent an hour browsing and reading proverbs to my husband. Brilliant.

Send us your comments!