bala - las balas pican cerca

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by cecilia, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. cecilia

    cecilia Junior Member

    Argentina
    Argentina-Spanish
    Hi,
    I'd like to get an equivalent of this phrase in Spanish "las balas pican cerca". From and old man who's reading the obituaries and most friends have passed away, so "bullets" are most probably going to "hit" him next (i.e. his life will soon come to an end)
    Most of my attempts are associations with other metaphores (kick the bucket or so). I'm looking for an equivalent (if there is one in colloquial English).
    Thanks
     
  2. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    I'm not sure there's an existing idiom with the same meaning, but I think if he said "the bullets are getting closer" we would get the meaning readily enough.
     
  3. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    Quizás (Chris could you please confirm?), "this is getting close to home"...
     
  4. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    These come to mind, I'm sure there are many more.

    My time is nearly over.
    The end is near.
    I'm waiting for the undertaker.
    He's got one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel.

    And my aunt used to say: "It won't be long now."

    Saludos.
     
  5. Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    Although I don't like the term, you sometimes hear old people referred to as coffin dodgers (los que esquivan el ataúd).
     
  6. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Yes, you could say "this is getting close to home" or "closer to home." It's not quite as vivid but in context it would be understood.
     
  7. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Bonz Senior Member

    Seattle, WA
    Mexican-Spanish, U.S. English, Spanglish
    Hola,
    Bueno, Algo que quizas te ayude es la expresión: "hit close to home" La persona que lo dice lo sintió más que otros, o más que antes. Busca ejemplos en el internet, es bastente común.
    Saludos.
    pos-data: ¿Las balas pican? ¿Serán de plumita o qué?
     
  9. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    That's what I was looking for! "to hit close to home" :thumbsup:
     
  10. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    But this expression has little to do with "the end is near"
     
  11. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    We also use the expression "circling the drain," but that's only appropriate if the person referred to is actually sick (or at least feeble); it says nothing about the fact that other people of a similar age have been dying.
     
  12. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    Yes, but the OP is looking for a translation for "las balas pican cerca". As I understand it, this idiom can be used in other contexts and doesn't necessarily mean "the end is near". I think it means "the battle is getting closer" (metaphorically, of course!) or "the battle is getting closer to home/is hitting close to home"...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  13. Bonz Senior Member

    Seattle, WA
    Mexican-Spanish, U.S. English, Spanglish
    Andoush is right. "Las balas pican cerca" doesn't mean the end is near, necessarily. Another expression this Spanish one reminds me of : "The apples don't fall far from the tree" which has a gist of the same meaning to: "the bullets hit close to home."
    Regards.
     
  14. ilvecchio Senior Member

    Memphis, TN
    American English
    Cecilia - No creo que haya nada equivalente. Yo propongo lo siguiente: "My friends are falling (or biting the dust) all around me." (Conozco bien el sentimiento.)
     
  15. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    I think that the OP is looking for an English phrase that the old man would use to indicate that he may be the next to go?? this would not be "the bullets hit close to home"

    I see no relationship between these phrases. "hitting close to home" means "a certain remark might apply to me" and apples not falling far from the tree means "like father like son" ("árbol que crece torcido nunca endereza")
     
  16. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    But if you said "the bullets are getting closer" I think it would suggest that meaning. That is, death has just taken several acquaintances of the same age, so he may well be the next to go.
     
  17. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    I agree that this would be understood, but was thinking the OP was looking for a set phrase.
     
  18. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Right. So far I haven't found one, although you would think one ought to exist.
     
  19. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    "The Indians are circling the wagons."
    "I can see the buzzards circling overhead."
     
  20. cecilia

    cecilia Junior Member

    Argentina
    Argentina-Spanish
    Dear forum,
    You are all amazing. Most of the threads are useful to start working with. THANKS!!!
    I will consider "the bullets hit close to home" if i can't decide on a set phrase. But I loved the coffin dodgers (keeps this idea that you are avoiding the bullets and it's used by old people. And it's the set phrase I'm looking for.) And the ones about Indians circling the waggons as well.
    I'm afraid the one about the drain, although appropriate as a translation, would not fit the character I need to describe; he's not ill, just being pessimistic.
    Great forum indeed. Hope I have been helpful somewhere in other threads...
    Saludos,
    Cecilia
     
  21. cecilia

    cecilia Junior Member

    Argentina
    Argentina-Spanish
    One more thing: "pican cerca" (v. picar) refers to the fast bouncing movement of bullets. Quite colloquial in Argentina.
     

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