Vocabulary | Spanish love expressions and their meaning

Ah! Love. The one and only thing that can make us feel butterflies. But, do you know how to say this in Spanish? Do you want to learn more Spanish love expressions and their origin? Keep reading!

The Spanish language is full of expressions to describe each stage of the romantic relationship. Some of these love expressions have to do with myths. Others are quite intriguing as they include fruits and vegetables, such as oranges and pumpkins. But all of them will help you learn new vocabulary and express yourself in Spanish 🙂

Cupid pleads guilty

So, first things first. If love were a crime, Cupid would be the first one to plead guilty in Spanish. Indeed, he’s usually involved in the beginning of love stories. That’s why, when a Spaniard meets someone s/he really likes for the first time, s/he can say “he tenido un flechazo”.

This Spanish love expression dates back Roman times and refers to Cupid. “Flecha” is Spanish for “arrow”. As you might know, it is the tool Cupid used to make couples fall in love. So, when we are hit by Cupid’s arrow, we talk about “tener un flechazo”, a sudden and intense love you feel for someone you see for the first time. For example:

Cuando Laura vio a Juan, tuvo un flechazo, fue amor a primera vista.

Butterflies declare as witnesses

After the “flechazo”, love is wonderful. Full thrills. And each time you see your beloved one, “sientes mariposas en el estómago”. Taking into account that “mariposa” means “butterfly”, I’m sure you can guess it’s meaning. 

Yup, it is equivalent to the English expression “feeling butterflies” which is used to describe that nervous fluttery in your stomach when see the person you are in love with.

Por eso, cada vez que Laura veía a Juan, sentía mariposas en el estómago.

Meet orange, the accomplice

Now, if you’re lucky enough, you might find your “media naranja”. 

Your “half orange” is the person that adapts so well to your taste and character that it is seen as your better half.  The origin of this Spanish love expression dates back to Plato’s Symposium. In it, lovers we’re said to have been split in two before arriving to this world. From then on, our search for our better half began. It was even said that we shall never be complete without it.

Well, before you roll your eyes, let me reassure you. I don’t think many Spaniards actually believe in this nowadays, but the expression is still used. Although I’m not really sure why we use oranges…

Laura creía que Juan era su media naranja.

And pumpkin…the traitor

Unfortunately love is not always as beautiful as it may seem… In this case, we can use the love expression “dar calabazas”.

Sin embargo, Juan le dio calabazas

According to google translate, this simply means:


Not sure what this has to do with love? Check out this amazing video by our friends at Pablo Aprende Espanol and discover what the Spanish expression “dar calabazas” really means.

Don’t forget to take a look at Pablo Aprende español YouTube channel, their videos are just amazing.

I hope by now you have had a flechazo with Spanish, it might be tu media naranja, so don’t let it darte calabazas and keep the mariposas en el estómago alive! Comment below if you know any other love expressions or if you ever felt any of the ones described above and have a great Valentine’s Day,

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