Mexican Sayings ...
Life, Fortune, Love and Death

Up and down we go in life, as on a Ferris wheel, all the while discovering new perspectives, colors, wisdom and… Mexican sayings that hit the nail right on the head.

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“La Rueda de la Fortuna”

De valientes y glotones están llenos los panteones
Cementeries are full of the courageous and of gluttons
Looks to me like this is meant to advise restraint in two popular fields of activity: eating and picking fights.

Al vivo todo le falta, y al muerto todo le sobra
For one who´s alive nothing´s quite enough, while for one who´s dead anything´s too much
The Mexican refranero gets a bit philosophical once in a while, and in this case it reminds us that the material wellbeing we so tenaciously pursue down here is redundant in the thereafter.

Más remedio tiene un muerto
Even a dead man has more to hope for
This Mexican saying is an unmistakably Mexican way of saying that something or somebody is quite beyond hope.

Para dejar el pellejo, lo mismo es hoy que mañana
Pellejo: hide, skin
To abandon one´s skin, today is as good a day as any
This is to encourage oneself or someone else to act bravely: Do what has to be done without fear; the worst case scenario –death- is in any case unavoidable.

Si tu mal tiene remedio, ¿de qué te apuras?; y si no, ¿de qué te preocupas?
If there´s a cure for your problem, why anguish? And if there´s none, why worry?
I´ve said already that the Mexicans are a good natured folk! They know how to stay in good spirits in spite of all troubles which may come their way.

Cada cual hace con su vida un papalote y lo echa a volar
We each make a kite of life and fly it as we will
Each person lives his life as he likes. This Mexican saying is meant to be said following a sigh and with hands held up high in a gesture of helplessness when somebody fails to listen to our advice. Also, when someone speaks ill of his fellow, it serves to indicate that he should mind his own business.

El muerto y el arrimado, a los tres días apestan
An arrimado is a person who comes uninvited to live under your roof. It might well be that you gave your consent, but even if so, that generally won´t prevent your arrimados from becoming a nuisance sooner or later. According to this Mexican saying, it takes only three days for that to happen.
Houseguests and fish stink after three days. We see here that the English equivalent substitutes the corpse for stale fish, with similar results.

Si quieres dinero y fama, que no te agarre el sol en la cama
If you want riches and fame, don´t let the sun surprise you still in bed
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

Si la juventud supiera y la vejez pudiera…
If only youth were to know how and the aged were still to be able…
Which reminds us of one of Gabriel García Márquez’ famous quotes: La sabiduría nos llega cuando ya no nos sirve de nada.

El que impuesto está a perder, hasta lástima es que gane
When someone has made up his mind to lose, it would even be a pity should he win

¿Te haces muchas ilusiones?; tendrás muchos desengaños.
You´re building up many a hope? You´re in for many a disappointment

Click here for more sayings to add to your Mexican Spanish repertoire!

Keep on reading Mexican sayings. There are sayings featuring animals and also sayings based on food: mole, atole, frijoles and more yummy stuff.. Mmmh!


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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