Sunday, 22 January 2012


Today's WOTD is: 'pie' = foot

In Spanish, the noun 'pie' is a masculine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is the foot. In Spanish, the noun 'pie' may be also used to refer to, amongst others:
  • The base of a column, a lamp or a cup.
  • The bottom of a page or document.
  • A unit of length in some measurement systems (e.g. the Imperial System).

False Friends (Falsos Amigos)
Please remember that the English noun pie ('pastel' in Spanish) and the Spanish noun 'pie'are not related and should not be used to translate one another!

Some commonly used expressions containing the word 'pie' are:
  • A cuatro pies (crawling/ on all fours).
  • Al pie de (next to something/ beside something).
  • Al pie de (approximately).
  • Al pie de la letra (literally/ exactly/ to the letter).
  • A pie (on foot).
  • A pie pelado (barefoot-Chile).
  • A pies juntillas (without questioning/ blindly).
  • Andarse con pies de plomo (to be very careful/ to tread carefully).
  • Buscarle tres pies al gato (to complicate things unnecessarily).
  • Buscarle cinco pies al gato (to complicate things unnecessarily) .
  • Caer de pie (to fall on one's feet/ to be lucky).
  • Caer de pies (to fall on one's feet/ to be lucky)
  • Cojear del mismo pie que otra persona (to have the same defects/ foibles as someone else).
  • Con buen pie (with the right foot).
  • Con el pie derecho (with the right foot).
  • Con el pie izquierdo (on the wrong footing).
  • Con los pies por delante (feet first-in a coffin).
  • Con mal pie (on the wrong footing).
  • Con un pie en el hoyo (with a foot in the grave).
  • Cortar por el pie (to fell a tree).
  • Dar pie a (to give cause to/ provide a justification for).
  • De a pie (soldier-foot soldier/ commoner garden person).
  • De pie (standing up).
  • De pies (standing up).
  • De pies a cabeza (completely/ entirely/ from head to foot).
  • Echar el pie atrás (to back down).
  • Echar pie a tierra (to dismount/ to disembark/ to alight).
  • En pie (up/ out of bed/ standing up).
  • En pie de guerra (on a war footing).
  • Estar al pie del cañón (to be keeping things going/ holding the fort).
  • Estar atado de pies y manos (to be bound hand and foot).
  • Estar con el pie en el estribo (to be ready to leave).
  • Estar con el pie en el estribo (to be at death's door).
  • Hacer pie (to be able stand on the bottom in water, whilst keeping the head out of the water).
  • No dar pie con bola (to be incapable of getting a thing right).
  • No hacer pie (to be out of one's depth-literally).
  • No poder tenerse en pie (to feel really weak/ to be wilting).
  • No tener algo pies ni cabeza (to make no sense).
  • Parar los pies a alguien (to put someone in his/ her place).
  • Perder pie  (to get out of one's depth-in water/ to lose one's footing).
  • ¡Pie a tierra! (order: dismount!/ disembark!/ alight!).
  • Poner pies en polvorosa (to flee/ to take to one's heels).
  • Por pies (to flee running).
  • Por mi/ tu/ su propio pie (by myself/ yourself/ himself/ herself/ unaided).
  • Saber de que pie cojea alguien (to know someone's weak points).
  • Ser  más viejo que andar a pie (to be very old/ to be as old as the hills)/
  • Tener un pie dentro y otro fuera (to be undecided).
  • Vestirse por los pies (to be a man).

Examples of the use of the word 'pie' are:
  • Intenté levantarme, pero solo conseguí andar a cuatro pies (I tried to stand up, but could only walk on all fours/ crawl).
  • Hoy fui al trabajo a pie (today I walked to work)
  • Tenemos casa a pie de playa (we have a house on the beach).
  • Gastamos al pie de cien euros (we spent roughly 100 euros).
  • Tienes que seguir las instrucciones al pie de la letra (you have to follow the instructions exactly/ to the letter).
  • Pedro se lo creyó a pies juntillas (Pedro believed it blindly).
  • Tenéis que andaros con pies de plomo (you-plural have to be very careful).
  • No le busques tres pies al gato (don't complicate things unnecessarily).
  • Hoy hemos caido de pie (today we have landed on our feet).
  • Antonio cojea del mismo pie que Pedro (Antonio has the same foibles as Pedro).
  • Hoy me levanté con buen pie (today I got up on the right foot).
  • Hoy me levanté con el pie derecho (today I got up on the right foot) .
  • Hoy me levanté con mal pie (today I got up on the wrong foot).
  • Hoy me levanté con el pie  izquierdo (today I got up on the wrong foot).
  • De aquí solo salgo con los pies por delante (I will only leave in a coffin).
  • Pedro está con un pie en el hoyo (Pedro has a foot in the grave).
  • Cortaron el árbol por el pie (they felled the tree).
  • ¡No des pie a que te despidan! (don't give them a reason to fire you!).
  • Un soldado de a pie (a foot soldier).
  • El ciudadano de a pie (the man in the street) .
  • Llevo toda la mañana de pie (I have been standing all morning).
  • Me voy a vestir de blanco de pies a cabeza (I am going to wear white from head to foot).
  • Nos entró miedo y echamos el pie atrás (we became frightened and backed down).
  • Estoy en pie desde la ocho (I have been up since eight).
  • Los indígenas estaban en pie de guerra (the natives were on a war footing).
  • Seguimos al pie del cañón (we continue holding the fort).
  • Atado de pies y manos, a lo metieron en el calabozo (bound hand and foot they put him in his cell).
  • Estábamos con el pie en el estribo (we were ready to leave).
  • Aquí la piscina es muy honda, no se hace pie (here the pool is very deep, you cannot reach the bottom).
  • Carlos y Ana no dan pie con bola (Carlos and Ana can't get anything right/ are a disaster).
  • No puedo tenerme en pie del hambre que tengo ( I am so hungry I am wilting).
  • Esto no tiene pies ni cabeza (this doesn't make any sense).
  • Tuve que pararle los pies a Pedro (I had to put Pedro in his place).
  • En la escalada perdí pie y me caí al vacío (during the climb I lost my footing and fell into the void).
  • ¡Pie a tierra!, gritó el capitán (everybody down! the captain shouted).
  • Pusimos los pies en polvorosa (we ran/ legged it).
  • Salimos por pies  (we ran/ legged it).
  • Llegué a casa por mi propio pie (I reached home by my own devices/ unaided).
  • Yo sí que sé de que pie cojea Pedro (I really know Pedro's weaknesses).
  • Eso es más viejo que andar a pie (that is as old as the hills).
  • Tengo un pie dentro y otro fuera (I am undecided).
  • ¿Qué crees, que no se viste por los pies? (do you doubt he is a man?). loves the word 'pie' in the YouTube clip: Cabeza, Hombro, Rodilla y Pie - con Letra

For more on the word 'pie', visit: Pie

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “pie” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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