Throwing flowers

Today I learned a new phrase from a Spanish friend: echar flores a alguien, translating as “to throw flowers at someone.” It means to say something nice about someone, or pay a compliment.

I love this, especially since it’s so similar to “throwing perfume,” the Portuguese phrase for flirting. So I thought surely there must be a similar Portuguese phrase for complimenting, right?

My wife can’t think of any. Then again, she’s hot and tired and her brain isn’t at top capacity. We’re tossing it out to the blogosphere — is she missing anything?

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to Throwing flowers

  1. Jorge says:

    The only idiom remotely similar I can think of is “a uma mulher não se bate nem com uma flor”, which is not at all the same thing.

    Sometimes this nice sentiment is nastily twisted by adding “atira-se-lhe logo com o vaso”, which probably helps explaining why throwing flowers and flower-related objects never made it into Portuguese Idiomland.

  2. Marta says:

    The only thing I can remember about throwing something at someone is “deitar pérolas a porcos”, (which I think can be used in English as well) but it has a totally different meaning.

    I think the most “idiomatic phrase” we would use would be “dizer maravilhas de alguém”.


  3. Ana_ñ says:

    About the Spanish expression, I could add that “Echar flores a alguien” is a good thing, but “echarse flores” (“to throw flowers at oneself”) is not, as it means “to blow one’s own trumpet.” By the way, another funny expression we use for this is same concept, which the dictionary says it means “not to be afraid of blowing one’s own trumpet” is “no tener abuela,” translated as “not to have a grandmother.” The explanations are that grandmas are always praising their grandchildren, so you must not have one if you are praising yourself. 🙂

    As for the idiom that Marta shares, we say the same but, instead of pearls, we throw daisies at pigs (“echar margaritas a los cerdos”) Flowers again. 🙂

  4. Ana says:

    With flowers, and the same approximate meaning, can’t remember any (there’s “fazer umas flores” that means prettying up something, generally when you haven’t much to work with). There’s the idiom “trocar galhardetes” for a mutual exchange of praise. And there’s “passar a mão no pêlo” e “dar graxa” that both mean praising or complimenting someone in order to get something out of them.

  5. Alberto says:

    “atira-se-lhe logo com o vaso,” loosely interpretted, try thinking about the vase.

    The less work, the better, and more the scent and aroma of the flowers.

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