Dar gato por liebre

Friday’s word of the day was gato, and several colloquial examples of its use were given, including dar gato por liebre, meaning “to swindle or to con”. Literally it means “to give cat for hare”, and the etymology is one I’ll leave alone.

For some reason, the phrase reminded me of an early Spanish lesson, in which the instructor was trying to tell the class something and one fellow kept saying, “No, you’re pulling my leg.” The instructor insisted on all Spanish in class, so he asked for a translation…and was perplexed by what he got (tomando el pelo), since it didn’t translate directly. Hair =/= leg, so it did not compute in his mind.


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