Five Fingers Say It All

by Vanessa Johnson on Monday, May 06, 2019

Like so many other parts of the body, fingers (dedos) are the starting point for lots of popular expressions in Spanish. In today’s post, we’re going to learn two of them: quedar como anillo al dedo and estar para chuparse los dedos. Can you guess what these sayings mean?

If so, congratulations! If you have no idea, don’t worry. Stick around and improve your vocabulary by finding out all about them. To read this post in Spanish, click here.

Quedar como anillo al dedo

Do you remember the story of Cinderella? Today’s first expression has a lot to do with one its most famous scenes.

When the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella is running from the royal ball where she and the prince have just fallen in love. The magic spell that made it possible for her to go to the ball is about to wear off, and as she flees, she loses one of her beautiful glass slippers.

The next day, the prince finds the slipper and decides to ask all the young women in the kingdom to try it on. The slipper will only fit the foot of the woman he loves, the future princess. Everyone tries on the glass slipper, but Cinderella is the only one whose foot it fits. It fits her like a ring on a finger, como anillo al dedo. Thanks to the perfect fit, the prince finds the woman of his dreams and together they write their love story.

Venir como anillo al dedo means that something is perfect for the situation at hand. There are lots of other common expressions that mean the same thing: ir de perlas, venir que ni pintado, and venir a las mil maravillas are just a few. Let’s see some more modern examples:

A Rosa le ha venido como anillo al dedo mudarse a la capital. Estaba muy aburrida en el pueblo.

A Rosa le ha venido a las mil maravillas mudarse a la capital.

A Rosa le ha venido que ni pintado mudarse a la capital.

(Moving to the capital was the best thing Rosa could have done. She was so bored in the small town.)

Estar para chuparse los dedos

Today’s second expression almost needs no explanation. The idea of someone sucking their fingers after a meal is universal. When we finish eating something truly delicious, it’s hard not to chuparse los dedos to make the flavor last as long as possible. As we say in English, it’s finger-licking good!

Another expression used to describe exquisite flavors is hacerse la boca agua (mouthwatering). Take a look at the following examples:  

Todo lo que había en el banquete de la boda estaba para chuparse los dedos.

Se me hacía la boca agua con todo lo que había en el banquete.

(All the food at the wedding was finger-licking good.

All the food made my mouth water.)

If you found these expressions interesting, you’ll love this video. Watch to learn lots more expressions with parts of the body, like elbows and necks. Enjoy!


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