Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ya colgó los tenis

Nobody likes it, but tarde o temprano, we have to talk about someone who's "in a better place".  Not my favorite topic, but it's something you should know.

The a very common way to refer to people who have died is with one of two verbs, morirse or fallecer.

La actiz se murió
The actress died

Se murío is rather direct and to the point.   Fallecer is what you'll hear on the news.

La actríz falleció
The actress died

But in all honesty, you've probably seen those in your Spanish book.  We're here to learn about a few of the more creative ways to talk about el fallecido (la fallecida for a woman), so let's get to it.

Se colgó su tenis

Colgar los tenis literally means to hang up your tennis shoes.  Figuratively it means someone died.

Oye, hace mucho tiempo que no hablo con Pedro, ¿Cómo está?
Uyyy, ¿no sabias?  Pedro se colgó los tenis hace un año.

Hey, it's it's been a long time since I spoke with Pedro, how is he?
Oh, you didn't know?  Pedro died a year ago.

Colgó los tenis is very informal, so if you need to break the news to someone gently, this probably isn't the expression you want.

You can also say ya colgó los tenis.

Here's a fun one, ponerse el traje de madera.

If you don't have a clue as to what Pijamas de madera are, here's a hint.

Wooden pajamas refer to a coffin, or ataúd in Spanish.

Se puso el pijama de madera
He put on his wooden pajamas

Estirar la pata is generally accepted as the best translation for the English phrase to kick the bucket.

Ya estiró la pata
He kicked the bucket

Entregar el equipo is useful if you want to use a sports related phrase.

Ya entregó el equipo
He turned in his equipment

And remember, you shouldn't use any of the above expressions when you need to be caring and sensitive.

There are actually many more ways to talk about death, but why not hear them from real Mexicans with your own ears?  Here's link to some guys who run a YouTube channel called ZMG for U, and they give the run down on everything you should know, including a few cultural tips to help keep you out of trouble.

Let's close out today's post with something fun.  Here's a phrase we use all the time in English.

¿Que traes en la bolsa, una cadáver?
What do you have in your purse/bag, a body?

You may be tempted to use cuerpo instead of cadáver, but don't. 

Well that's it for today.  Don't forget you can also follow this blog on Facebook.   Also don't forget to check out my sister blog, Helping You Learn Spanish where I take a stab at simplifying the textbook side of Spanish so you can learn more faster without all the grammar double-talk.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. I always used cuerpo instead of cadáver when I was learning to speak Spanish language. Actually when you fix some words on your tongue then it is very hard to not to speak them specially when you are speaking impromptu.


  2. excellent list of Mexican Slang, u should do one about "perroconfundi" or "Te perro confundi" I mistake you for a dog :)