Category Archives: making things bigger

Estar hasta las manos

This entry is going to be mainly based in true recent events, because I can deeply relate with “estar hasta las manos”, at least in one of the two uses it has 😉

The literal translation of estar hasta las manos is to be up to the hands, and it means to be completely exceeded by a situation. So here is when the meaning can change from positive to negative. Well, actually that’s not totally accurate, but let’s see.

If you are working against the clock, you have to deliver a 5000 words paper for tomorrow and you’re just starting now, you can accurately say that you are hasta las manos.

Now, if you’ve met someone incredible two weeks ago and you’re already considering the possibility of moving together and you’ve started discussing babies names (which means that you’d already settled on how many children you want to have), we can certainly and doubtlessly say that you both are hasta las manos. It would depend on the observer if the phrase hasta las manos has a positive meaning (that you’re really in love and into each other) or a negative one (you’re simple insane, in a bad way, you should calm down a little bit).


– Hoy a la tarde tengo que entregar el proyecto de tesis, pero justo me llegó un montón de trabajo y para colmo me avisaron que quizás no cobre este mes. ¡Estoy hasta las manos! (I have to turn my thesis project this afternoon, but I’ve just got loads of work and to top that, HR just informed that I might not get paid this month. I’m up to my knees!)

– No puedo evitarlo, estoy hasta las manos con Julia. (I can’t help it, I’m really into Julia)

– Pedro está hasta las manos con el tema de la relación de Juan y María, no puede superarlo (Pedro is really affected by Juan and Maria’s relationship. He can’t get over it).

Pedo, estar al pedo, estar en pedo

Well, this is a word that you most likely won’t want to use in formal situations, or with people that you don’t know.

Pedo is actually a fart. And tirarse un pedo is to fart.

But this word has also non scatological uses. One of these uses is to say that someone is drunk. You’d say that the person está en pedo. This phrase also goes to say that someone is crazy.

Now, if a person tiene fiaca, and s/he has been all day doing nothing, we could say the person está al pedo.

 –         ¿Qué hiciste hoy? ¿Fuiste a trabajar? (What did you do today? Did you go to work?)

–         Nah, me quedé en casa todo el día. Estuve al re pedo. (Nah, I was at home all day. I haven’t done anything.)

 –         El sábado me tomé todo y terminé super en pedo. (On Saturday I drank everything and I ended up really drunk)

 –         Mi jefe está en pedo si cree que vamos a llegar a terminar todo para mañana (my boss is crazy if he thinks we’re going to finish everything for tomorrow)


Please, note the different meaning that the words en and al provide to the sentence.

verb estar (to be) + al + pedo = to have loads of free time, nothing to do

verb estar (to be) + en + pedo = to be drunk, to be crazy.

 Related with the meaning of en pedo, as in being drunk, and also related with ni ahí and ni a gancho, we have ni en pedo.

 Ni en pedo means that you won’t/wouldn’t do something even if you were drunk. It’s another way of saying no way.

–         Che, ¿nos tomamos un bondi? (Hey, should we take the bus?)

–         ¡Ni en pedo! Ya son las 3 de la mañana, tomemos un taxi.  (No way! It’s already 3 in the morning, let’s take a cab).

 De pedo is a phrase we use to indicate that we’ve accomplished something by chance, or just barely, at the last minute, with a little bit of luck.

 –         Le iba a pedir a Pablo que trajese vasos de plástico, pero me olvidé, pero de pedo él justo trajo un par (I was going to ask Pablo to bring some plastic cups, but I forgot about it, but just by chance he brought a few).

–         De pedo me acordé del cumpleaños de Mónica. (Just barely I remembered it was Monica’s birthday).

Another common phrase including the word pedo is a los pedos, which means in a hurry, very quickly, to be on the run.

–         Tuve que hacer todo a los pedos, porque me enteré ese misma mañana que viajaba a la noche (I had to do everything very quickly because I’d found out in the morning that I was traveling that same night).



Re is not only a note in the music scale or part of the lyrics of Sounds of Music. You’ll most likely hear Re a lot in Argentina. Especially if you’re around teenagers.

We use re as “very”, although the Spanish translation of very is “muy”.

–         ¡Ese chico es re lindo! (That boy is VERY cute!)

Please note the emphasis in “re”. You won’t use this word unless something is very, very … something.

–         Estoy re enojado con vos. (I’m really mad at you.)

Even though you can hear this variation of “muy being used by older people, but in a softer way, it is more common in young people or in older people wanting to have a theatrical emphasis in what they’re saying.

You will have to practice your R’s in order to use re appropriately 😉