Thursday, 19 January 2012

Pierna


Today's WOTD is: 'pierna' = leg

In Spanish, the noun 'pierna' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is the legWhen referring to leg of an animal, the noun 'pierna' means only the thigh.

The noun 'pierna' is often used in Spanish in its plural form, 'piernas'. Sometimes, using the plural 'piernas' radically changes the meaning of an expression (see common expressions below).

In Spanish, 'pata' is another commonly used noun when referring to a leg. The Spanish noun 'pata' is mainly used to refer to the legs of animals, furniture, etc. However, it should be noted that the noun 'pata' is in many cases used to refer colloquially to the leg of a person. The noun 'pata' is often used in Spanish in its plural form, 'patas'.

In some parts of Latin America. the noun 'pata' is used colloquially with the meaning of guy, bloke, buddy or mate.

Some commonly used expressions containing the words 'pierna' and 'pata' are:
  • A cuatro patas (crawling/ on all fours).
  • A la pata coja (hopping).
  • Abrirse de piernas (to open the legs*/ to do the splits)
  • Con las piernas cruzadas (cross legged).
  • Dormir a pata ancha  (to sleep soundly/ like a baby/ without worries).
  • Dormir a pierna tendida (to sleep soundly/ like a baby/ without worries).
  • Dormir a pierna suelta (to sleep soundly/ like a baby/ without worries).
  • Estirar la pata (to kick the bucket/ to die).
  • Estirar la pierna (to kick the bucket/ to die).
  • Estirar las piernas (to stretch the legs/ go or a walk).
  • Extender las piernas (to exercise the legs/ go or a walk) .
  • Hacer piernas  (to walk-as a form of exercise).
  • Llegar a media pierna (to be a calf length-garment).
  • Mala pata (bad luck).
  • Meter la pata (to put one's foot in it).
  • Metedura de pata (bloomer).
  • Pata de cabra (crowbar/ prybar).
  • Patas de gallo (crows feet).
  • Pata de palo (wooden leg).
  • Pata negra-jamón (quality ham-from a special breed of pig).
  • Patas arriba (upside down/ in a complete mess).
  • Pierna de cordero (leg/ thigh of lamb).
  • Poner de patas/ patitas en la calle (to fire/ eject/ expel someone)
  • Salir por piernas  (to take to one's heels/ to flee/ to leg it).
  • Tener patas (to have contacts-Latin America).
*NB Please note that the expression 'abrirse de piernas' is very often used with a sexual connotation.

Examples of the use of the words 'pierna' and 'pata' are:
  • Intenté levantarme, pero solo conseguí andar a cuatro patas (I tried to stand up, but could only walk on all fours/ crawl).
  • Vamos a echar una carrera a la pata coja (let us have a  hopping race).
  • Abrisrse de piernas en gimnasia requiere práctica (you need lots of practice to do the splits in gymnastics).
  • Me senté con las piernas cruzadas (I sat down cross legged).
  • Desde hace unos días, duermo a la pata ancha (for the last few days, I have been sleeping like a baby).
  • Desde hace unos días, duermo a pierna tendida (for the last few days, I have been sleeping like a baby).
  • Desde hace unos días, duermo a pierna suelta (for the last few days, I have been sleeping like a baby).
  • Cuando parecía que empezaba a recuperarse, Pedro estiró la pata (when it looked as if he was recovering, Pedro kicked the bucket).
  • Cuando parecía que empezaba a recuperarse, Pedro estiró la pierna (when it looked as if he was recovering, Pedro kicked the bucket).
  • Tengo que salir y estirar las piernas (I have to to go out and stretch my legs).
  • Tengo que salir y extender las piernas (I have to to go out and take a little walk).
  • Necesito hacer piernas (I need to walk/ exercise my legs).
  • El vestido me llega a media pierna (the dress is calf length on me).
  • ¡Qué mala pata! (what bad luck!).
  • Metí la pata, debería haberme callado (I put my foot right in it, I should have said nothing).
  • ¡Que metedura de pata! Debería haberme callado (what a bloomer!/ what a mistake! I should have said nothing).
  • Necesito una pata de cabra (I need a crwobar/ prybar).
  • Te han salido patas de gallo (you have developed crows feet).
  • El pirata tenía una pata de palo (the pirate had a wooden leg).
  • Tengo la casa patas arriba (my house is upside down/ in a mess).
  • Hoy tenemos pierna de cordero asada (today we have roast leg of lamb).
  • El jamón pata negra es buenísimo ('pata negra' ham is very good).
  • A Pedro le pusieron de patitas en la calle (Pedro got fired/ expelled).
  • Tuvimos que salir por piernas (we had to leg it).
  • Pedro sí que tiene patas (Pedro is the one with buddies/ mates/ contacts).

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'patas' in the YouTube clip: Susan Boyle - Rata de dos patas

For more on the word 'pierna', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Pierna

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


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