🍂 3 Everyday Spanish Expressions For The Autumn

learn spanish online Oct 13, 2022

¿Te gusta el otoño? - Do you like autumn?

I personally think it’s a fascinating season! Observing the changes in nature, the light, the warm colours - ocres, amarillos, marrones, naranjas, rojizos. 

And autumn is a time for harvest too.

Manzanas, peras, calabazas, uvas, castañas, higos…

And because Spanish is a very rich language full of wonderful expressions, today I'm sharing with you 3 that are very commonly used in daily life situations and refer to a typical autumn food.


De higos a brevas - “Every once in a while”

“Higos” and “brevas” are both the fruit from the fig tree. The first ones are the fruits from the end of summer/autumn and the “brevas” (bigger, but less sweet) are the ones at the end of the following spring, 8-9 months after. 

Hence the expression “de higos a brevas” to refer to something which doesn’t happen frequently.

Ex. No nos vemos casi nunca, solo de higos a brevas… We rarely see each other, only once in a blue moon.


Sacarle a alguien las castañas del fuego - “To get somebody out of trouble”

Literally, it means “to get someone’s chestnuts out of the fire”. This involves some risk (ie. getting burnt) and that’s why this expression means to do something to get a person out of trouble, normally having to face difficulty and risk themselves.

Ex. Es la última vez que te presto dinero. Estoy harto de sacarte las castañas del fuego, yo también tengo una hipoteca. - “It's the last time that I lend you money. I’m fed up of getting you out of trouble, I have a mortgage too”


Estar de mala uva/Tener mala uva - “To be in a bad mood/to have bad temper”

Equivalent to “estar de mal humor”/”tener mal humor”, a more informal version would be “estar de mala uva” o “tener mala uva”. 

This expression has an interesting origin as “drunkenness” or “borrachera” in modern Spanish used to be called “uva” (grape)! 

So, if someone had drunk too much and was acting annoyingly or aggressively, they would say “tiene mala uva”/”está de mala uva” - He/She has a bad grape!

Nowadays, the concept has evolved and is not related to being drunk. It simply describes a person’s mood or character.

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