The word “shoulder” (hombro) you may know. This article, however, focuses on the word as an idiom (modismo) – it has some interesting uses.

Let´s review the following:

  • Mr. Zapatero gave Mr. Sanchez the cold shoulder.

This means that Mr. Zapatero was unfriendly towards him or he rebuffed him (a rebuff is a “desaire” or rechazo). Or in Spanish you might say “… dio de lado a …”

If you wish to speak directly to someone (hablar francamente), you could say:

  • I am going to speak directly from the shoulder (voy a decir sin rodeos). Another similar idiom is “I am not going to beat around the bush” (no voy a andarme por las ramas).

Another use is shoulder as a verb as in “shoulder the blame” which means “cargar con la culpa”. An example:

  • I have to shoulder the blame for my mistakes.

You can also “rub shoulders with someone” meaning “codearse con alguien”. Here is an example:

  • Mr. Sanchez is rubbing shoulders with Mr. Podemos (…se esta codeando con…).
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