The verb dar in Spanish is one of those ‘jack of all trades’ that can help you or make you cry. There are a ton of meanings, phrases and idioms that use it. However, don’t lose hope; at, we’ll help you. Let’s see some funny expressions with the verb dar in Spanish.

Dar la murga

La murga is that group of people who gather together at Carnival, dressed up in matching costumes and sing biting songs, in order to mock politicians and celebrities. As you can imagine, the atmosphere around them is full of noise and mess.

Dar la murga is colloquially used to say that a person is a pain for someone. Just remember that noisy neighbour you have or your little nieces singing at the top of their lungs… you are right! Están dando la murga.

Example: ¡Estoy trabajando! ¡Por favor, no deis la murga y dejadme en paz!


No dar abasto

Abastos are traditional small grocery stores that are often gathered in a larger market called mercado de abastos. It’s the best place to buy fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. The word is also used to express what you can buy there: that is provisions, supplies.

No dar abasto is the exclamation you would say if you have so much work to do that all your efforts are not enough to finish it. We might say, that you don’t have enough suplies to survive.

Example: Tengo que estudiar para los exámenes DELE, tengo que limpiar la casa e ir al trabajo: ¡es que no doy abasto!

Dar calabazas

Una calabaza is that fruit that has become iconic for horror lovers. On Halloween, even in Spain nowadays, schools and stores are full of them when the All Saint’s Day is coming. Of course, we are talking about pumpkins.

Dar calabazas a alguien is not a good thing, though. If you meet ‘your crush’ and tell him or her that you’d like to have a date, there are two options: you can be a lucky person and date him or her, or more likely to happen, your crush te da calabazas (to give the brushoff). This is one of the most funny expression with the verb dar in Spanish.

Example: Mi esposa me dio calabazas hasta tres veces antes de tener nuestra primera cita.

Dar caña

Caña is a polysemic word. You might know it with the meaning of ‘rod’, a kind of glass of beer or the idiom ‘ser la caña’ (to be great). However, we’re going to focus on another sense: a cane. That tool that is used to flog the livestock or to beat trees or even people.

Dar caña comes from that last concept. Of course, is used metaphorically when a person tells of or someone or puts pressure on him or her.

Example: Mi profesor en me da mucha caña porque no hago los deberes.

Dar al traste con

Un traste was an ancient rower boat that was used both, to reach the shore and to try to save lives after a wreck. Actually, it was considered an useless part of a ship because wrecks were not so usual as the technology was advancing. Nowadays, we use the verb dar in Spanish with word trasto,  meaning ‘junk’.

Dar al traste con algo means ‘to mess up’, to spoil something. Notice that at that age, if you needed to use el traste is because the situation was desperate.

Example: La noche antes de mi examen DELE salí de fiesta con mis amigos y al día siguiente di al traste con mis posibilidades de aprobar.

Well, now it’s your turn to use these sentences. Try to write some more examples below on the comments section and if you know more of these funny expressions with the verb dar in Spanish, let us know.