Spanish Idioms, #9: Poner Los Cuernos

Apparently this is a very common expression in Spain (which is unfortunate):

Poner los cuernos.

Literally, it translates to “Put (on) the horns.” The expression is used to signify that someone in a relationship has been unfaithful to their partner. More casually in English we would say that the person cheated on the other. In old English, it was common to say that a person was being cuckolded.

To conjugate in context, here are some examples:

Su novio le ponía los cuernos.

Her boyfriend was cheating on him.

“¡No me pongas los cuernos!”

Don’t cheat on me!

It is also common in Spanish to say:

Engañarle a alguien.

The above translates to “to fool someone” and often signifies an unfaithful partner. I think I prefer the horns, however, because it gives you the image of a devil (at least for me). In context, here are some conjugations:

“Ella me engañó.”

She cheated on me.

“Él no sabía que ella lo engañaba.”

He didn’t know that she was cheating on him.

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