barcoSince human beings settled Earth, we’ve try to imitate other animal’s abilities, we weren’t born with. We sail the oceans, we fly the sky… and it seems there is no goal we cannot reach.

Crossing the oceans, we discovered new lands and we’ve written the most important pages in History. Navigation has become not only a mode of transport, but also a way of life for many people. This activity has brought many words in our language. Today we’re going to learn some slang about life in the sea.

  • Imagine a workmate of yours suffered an accident and broke his leg. Now he’s at home and he can’t work for a long time. We can say this: Está en el dique seco (literally, “to be in the dry dock”). It means you have to stop doing something. A dry dock is a vessel with no water, where ships and boats are built or repaired.
  • Let’s be more positive now. Think about a project you are developing. Things are going well and you expect you’ll finish it soon. We can say this: Esto va viento en popa (we’ve got wind in the sails) It means “to go well”. A boat has four main parts: popa (stern, the back part of a boat), proa (prow, the forward part of the boat), estribor (starboard, the right side of a boat), babor (the left side of a boat). If wind blows from the stern part, it will help the boat to go faster.
  • Is there any news you don’t mind at all? In this case you can say: Me la trae al pairo (It means “I don’t mind”). A sailing maneuver is called poner al pairo, that consists in keeping the boat in a static position. So, if the news is not important, you will not move a finger for that.
  • Did a friend of yours betray you? Then, you can say me ha dejado en la estacada (It means “to leave in the lurch”). La estacada is the stake where boats are tied up.

Sailors have their own vocabulary, and even Spanish speakers don’t usually understand some of their expressions. If you want to learn Spanish via Skype and this kind of slang, you can book a free trial lesson on and todo irá viento en popa (everything will go well).