Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos. (criar + cuervo)

Culturilla

Senior Member
Castellano, España
Some posters say that "cría cuervos" means that you get what you give. I don't see it that way. I'm thinking of ungrateful children who grow up to be mean to their parents for no reason at all. Imagine something like this: the parents get old and start needing more and more help because they're not as self-sufficient as they used to be. The children decide to put them in a nursing home because they all of a sudden see their parents as a burden. The parents are OK, they just need some help and patience but the children will have none of it. Nursing home it is, because I don't want to deal with this mess.

That's when I would say: "Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos".

Another example would be children fighting over their parents' will (while they're still alive).

I once saw the trailer for a horror movie about evil children and I remember the tagline translation for the Spanish version going "cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos". The English one said something like "You brought them into this world and they're gonna take you out". Can't remember which movie it was... It was a good translation, I thought.
 
  • Aguas Claras

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think it means "You reap what you sow", as somebody says above. I'm quite familiar with the Spanish expression and I believe it is that (although maybe a little stronger!).
     

    Elcanario

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Lo siento Aguas Claras pero no estoy de acuerdo.
    Lo que siembras cosecharás —Gálatas 6:7; "No os engañéis; Dios no puede ser burlado: pues todo lo que el hombre sembrare, eso también segará."— no tiene nada que ver con la expresión "cría cuervos y te sacaran los ojos".

    Yo estoy de acuerdo con la descripción que hace Culturilla. El refrán avisa del peligro que tiene ser mentor, etc de cierta gente desagradecida.
    La expresión se hace extensiva a otros contextos, no solo familiares, como por ejemplo a cualquier situación donde favoreces, ayudas, etc a alguien que acaba traicionándote, abandonándote en situación comprometida... demostrando una falta total de respeto, agradecimiento...
    Como dice otro dicho: "De bien nacido es ser agradecido" que postula digamos lo contrario, sé agradecido con quien te ha hecho bien o de lo contrario serás un malnacido.
    Un saludo
     

    Culturilla

    Senior Member
    Castellano, España
    I think it means "You reap what you sow", as somebody says above. I'm quite familiar with the Spanish expression and I believe it is that (although maybe a little stronger!).

    It's MUCH stronger. :) Besides, we have the Spanish equivalent for "you reap what you sow": lo que siembras, recoges. Or "El que siembra vientos, recoge tempestades".

    Lo siento Aguas Claras pero no estoy de acuerdo.
    Lo que siembras cosecharás —Gálatas 6:7; "No os engañéis; Dios no puede ser burlado: pues todo lo que el hombre sembrare, eso también segará."— no tiene nada que ver con la expresión "cría cuervos y te sacaran los ojos".

    Yo estoy de acuerdo con la descripción que hace Culturilla. El refrán avisa del peligro que tiene ser mentor, etc de cierta gente desagradecida.
    La expresión se hace extensiva a otros contextos, no solo familiares, como por ejemplo a cualquier situación donde favoreces, ayudas, etc a alguien que acaba traicionándote, abandonándote en situación comprometida... demostrando una falta total de respeto, agradecimiento...
    Como dice otro dicho: "De bien nacido es ser agradecido" que postula digamos lo contrario, sé agradecido con quien te ha hecho bien o de lo contrario serás un malnacido.
    Un saludo

    Exacto. Otro ejemplo sería en el trabajo. Ayudas a un compañero con un proyecto, gracias a ti obtiene un ascenso, se convierte en tu jefe y empieza a tratarte fatal. Es un déspota inaguantable. Cuando le pides un favor, te dice que te apañes. Eso sería otra situación en la que diría "Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos". Claro que también se podría decir, en este caso concreto, "no good deed goes unpunished".

    No sé si el significado original tiene que ver con que ambos sean malos, pero yo siempre lo he entendido como que no: que la persona que ha criado cuervos no ha hecho nada malo.
     

    DelaChón

    Senior Member
    Iberian NE Spanish
    It's both, actually... A crow is a crow, it's in its nature to act the way it does. So, in that, Culturilla is right. However, all who claim it has to do with the "you reap what you sow" proverb are definitely right, too.
     

    MGabriela

    New Member
    Spanish-Uruguay
    Quizás, "No good deed will go unpunished."

    "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

    I think you've come up with the best! "Spare the rod and spoil the child"
    Because "Cría cuervos y te sacaran los ojos" es saying that if you educate your children to be ravens (this is ruthless, heartless) the time will come when they'll be like ravens (ruthless, heartless) with you, peck your eyes out.
     

    MGabriela

    New Member
    Spanish-Uruguay
    It's both, actually... A crow is a crow, it's in its nature to act the way it does. So, in that, Culturilla is right. However, all who claim it has to do with the "you reap what you sow" proverb are definitely right, too.

    Yes it has to do with you reap what you sow but with respect to the education of your children. It warns you to be careful teaching children responsibility and selflessness or you'll regret it. It's a really good idiom for the times we are living.
     

    MGabriela

    New Member
    Spanish-Uruguay
    I don't think that this saying is about (lack of) gratitude, as many Spanish speakers said in this thread.
    I think, or at least I use it, to describe for example that if you "train" someone to be evil, he might eventually come after you.

    If you grow and train a dog to be aggressive, it might eventually bite you.
    If you ask your subordinates to lie to others, hide things under the carpet, etc. they will eventually do exactly that to you.
    If you, actively or by omission, grow/let your children to be rude, bad-mannered and insolent, don't expect a lot of compassion and support from them at a later time.

    It is more or less in the line of "cosecharás tu siembra", but always with the negative connotation.

    In Spanish there is another one that is similar but more general, may be more like "You'll reap what you sow" it is "Siembra vientos y cosecharas tempestades."
     

    Culturilla

    Senior Member
    Castellano, España
    I think you've come up with the best! "Spare the rod and spoil the child"
    Because "Cría cuervos y te sacaran los ojos" es saying that if you educate your children to be ravens (this is ruthless, heartless) the time will come when they'll be like ravens (ruthless, heartless) with you, peck your eyes out.

    I like it, although the Spanish equivalent that first popped into my head was "La letra con sangre entra".

    El refrán de "cría cuervos" siempre lo he interpretado como un aviso de lo peligroso que es hacer favores para cierta gente o, más concretamente, ser mentor o enseñar a alguien que después utilizará eso contra ti.
     

    MGabriela

    New Member
    Spanish-Uruguay
    Si exacto, especialmente el ser mentor o enseñar a alguien. Hacer favores es mas rebuscado me parece.
    Hay otro refrán que se puede considerar del mismo estilo que es el aviso, "No avives hiles!" este es de Sudamérica, Rio Platense.
     
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