Expressions with cara in Spanish are very common in colloquial language. Now that we are living through a depressing time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a good advice could be al mal tiempo, buena cara. That’s what we should do; try to find reasons to smile. As we did some months ago, when we talked about funny expressions, today we’re going to propose some idioms with the word cara. Even though we cannot show it in all its splendor nowadays because of the masks, we must not forget that “the face is the mirror of the soul”.

Expressions with Cara in Spanish: Monkeys in your face?

Among the rarest expressions with cara in Spanish, we can find this one. Imagine that you are staring at a person. The person gets upset and asks you:

¿Qué pasa? ¿Tengo monos en la cara?

You might think this person has gone crazy if they think they have these primates on their face. Nothing could be further from the truth. Los monos are funny and strange gestures that we make with our face. The origin of this word comes from Greek mythology, since the god Momo (Μωμος) was the divinity of mockery and irony, protector of writers and poets. Because of this, what that person asked was not whether we could see animals on his face, but the Greek god.



Tener mucha cara and mucha jeta

Expressions with cara in Spanish also have gestures related to them. One of the most typical gesture in Spain is to hit a cheek with the palm of your hand. When Spanish people do this, they would be describing you as irresponsible, disrespectful or naughty:

¡Eres un sinvergüenza! ¡Tienes mucha cara!

Originally, the word used in this expression was jeta. This term comes from the Arabic ‘jaṭm‘ (muzzle, nose or snout of an animal). Since Arabs consider pigs to be impure animals, and to have a very hard muzzle, the word jeta and, by extension, cara, got a pejorative meaning.

Nowadays, other variants are also used such as: tener mucho morro, ser un caradura, tener la cara muy dura, ser un jeta…

Expressions with Cara in Spanish: other examples

To finish this article about expressions with cara in Spanish, we will offer a brief list with other examples that we also use a lot in colloquial language:

  • Dar la cara: face the consequences.
  • Ir de cara: to be honest.
  • Tener cara de pocos amigos: to be upset.
  • Tener cara de circunstancias: to look serious or worried.
  • Cara larga: to look sad.
  • Cruzarle a alguien la cara: to slap somebody’s face.
  • Echar en cara algo a alguien: to reproach.

As you can see, expressions with cara in Spanish are very curious and used. If you want to learn more and, above all, how to use them properly, reserve a lesson with us at Spanishviaskype. If you want to do a trial lesson first, we will be happy to meet you, because siempre vamos de cara.