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To show off

De cara a la galería

To be fickle, to flip-flop

Cambiar de chaqueta o ser un "chaquetero"

To add fuel to the fire

Echar Leña al Fuego


El pez que se muerde la cola, el perro que se persigue la cola y otros círculos viciosos

Where there's a will, there's a way

Querer es Poder Ser un quiero y no puedo

By the skin of your teeth

El canto de un duro

All roads lead to Rome

Todos los caminos llevan a Roma

Everyone has their own way of doing things

Cada maestrillo tiene su librillo

To be old-fashioned

Estar chapado a la antigua

To flout

Saltarse (algo) a la torera

To send someone packing

Ir a tomar viento

What's done is done

A lo hecho, pecho

Period, moving right along

Punto pelota / a otra cosa, mariposa

In fits and starts

A trancas y barrancas

To be climbing the walls

Subirse por las paredes

When it rains, it pours

A perro flaco, todo son pulgas

To keep on and on

Erre que erre

To be in and out

Hacer la visita del médico

To backslide

Volver a las andadas

To come to nothing

Quedar en agua de borrajas

El pez que se muerde la cola, el perro que se persigue la cola y otros círculos viciosos

The expression El pez que se muerde la cola is very common in Spain. It literally means the fish that bites its own tail, and is used to describe very complex situations from which there are no way out. The metaphor of a fish biting its own tail represents lack of movement and consequently, the inability to progress. The fish is trapped, blocked, stuck; it has no way to go. In general, the individual caught in these types of situations has options, but none of them provides him or her with the desired outcome. The circumstances that surround the individual in these dead-end situations are beyond his or her control, that is to say, he or she has no power whatsoever to break out of them. It is always a no-win situation because there is no possible way around it. The English expression Catch-22 is a perfect match for the metaphor described by el pez que se muerde la cola. These expressions are about terms and/or conditions that exclude or contradict one another.

A situation of el pez que se muerde la cola:

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