Spanish Idioms, #4: Ponerse las botas

Haha surprised I actually found a shirt with this idiom in English... Photo Cred

Haha surprised I actually found a shirt with this idiom in English… Photo Cred

I learned this lovely phrase the day of our Mexican Fiesta. I was speaking to some of the people who were going to be coming that night for the feast, and they told me “Nos ponemos las botas”… to which I replied with a blank stare of confusion.

Ponerse las botas.

They explained to me that it meant that we would all be eating a lot that night, so it was a funny expression to say we should prepare ourselves. I asked “but why boots? Shouldn’t it be about pants or something?” and they just shrugged. After researching the phrase a little bit, I found out that it can have multiple meanings (I’m glad I looked it up before actually using it!).

You can use this phrase to signify that you will be eating quite a lot, but it also could mean that you expect to have a lot of success or get lucky that night *blush*. It also means, simply, to get ready for something. I suppose the context means everything, eh?

They asked me if there was an English equivalent, but I am still having a hard time thinking of one. Anyone know of anything?

4 thoughts on “Spanish Idioms, #4: Ponerse las botas

  1. I thought ponerse las botas meant to prepare for hard work.. Or it could also mean time to grow up?? My family uses it all the time. My family is from Dominican Republic. I guess in English one could say put your big boy pants on.


    • It’s super interesting how countries can have the same expression, yet meaning different things! I can see how it means that, too. But in Spain, at least from the people I’ve met, it definitely means to eat too much or take advantage of something in abundance. Thanks for sharing!


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