Idioms about bullfighting in Spanish are very common. Nowadays, this activity is very controversial. On the one hand, defenders of tauromachy claim that it’s a traditional cultural expression, even art. On the other hand, animal defenders affirm that bullfighting is a murder.

However it might be, the Spanish language is full of idioms about bullfighting and it’s very useful for our students at Spanishviaskype to understand the meanings of those colloquial expressions. Here you will find some of them.

Idioms about bullfighting: echar un capote

Un capote is a kind of pink and yellow cloak, used by the matadores, for evading bulls. They often move the capote flourishly in order to excite the audience. If bullfighters lose their capote, they are defenseless against the animal, so, they need a member of their team to throw them another cloak. In consequence, if somebody te echa un capote, is helping you.

For example: Anda, échame un capote y aconséjame cómo puedo aprobar el examen DELE.


Cambiar de tercio is sometimes a good idea

A bullfighting show consists in three parts or tercios (a third part). When the president of la plaza (the bullfighting ring) decides to change into another part, the band play their instruments and another tercio starts. Nowadays, cambiar de tercio means change the topic in a conversation.

For example: No hablemos más de Donald Trump y cambiemos de tercio.

Coger el toro por los cuernos in order to learn Spanish

Among the idioms about bullfighting in Spanish, coger el toro por los cuernos is one of the most popular. Despite the fact that grabbing the bull’s horns is not considered correct by bullfighting fans, it’s obvious that you need to be very brave to do such a dangerous thing. In colloquial speaking, this expression means ‘confront a problem’ and not to shy away from it.

For example: Si quieres aprender español realmente, coge el toro por los cuernos y reserva clases en

Idioms about bullfighting: ver los toros desde la barrera

La barrera is the wall that encircles the bullfighting ring. It’s the only protection between the bull and the audience, reporters and assistants. From time to time you can see a matador running away and jumping over la barrera. So, ver los toros desde la barrera means ‘watch a situation from the sidelines, without taking a risk’.

For example: Cuando mi hija y mi esposa empiezan a discutir yo prefiero ver los toros desde la barrera e irme.

Hacer novillos is not good if you want to learn Spanish

Los novillos are bullocks and are used for bullfighting apprentices to train. In the past, these young candidates used to skip school and sneak in a cattle in order to practice with los novillos. Now, hacer novillos keeps that meaning.

For example:Si sigues haciendo novillos, nunca vas a aprender nada.

These idioms about bullfighting in Spanish will make you sound much more natural if you use them in colloquial conversations. Do you want to learn more about these expressions? So, coge el toro por los cuernos and reserve a trial lesson right now! It’s free and convenient.