Hierba mala nunca muere!

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by ElenaofTroy, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    Hello everyone!

    I´d like to know if there´s an equivalent phrase in English to:

    ¡Hierba mala nunca muere!

    A while ago I was trying to tranlsate it to an English speaker and I came up with a very literal translation: Weeds never die! or... Weeds never end!...
    but I guess there must be a well known saying to express the same idea...

    Can anybody help? Thanks in advance and good day!

    Iliana :)
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Que tal: "A bad weed never dies"
  3. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    You tell me!!

    I meant to ask for an equivalent "fixed" saying, if there is one...

    Hierba mala nunca muere is a funny or ironic saying to mean that someone who is sick will for sure get better, and it´s commonly used to make an ill friend smile and keep a good attitude... In another context, is´t used to mean that bad people last longer, the opposite idea of "only the good die young".

    So... is your translation a common saying in English?

    Thanks for your help!
  4. annettehola Banned

    Sorry, isn't there some confusion going on here? ElenaofTroy get off your iron horse and face explanation: "...bad people last longer, the opposite idea of "only the good die young," you write. That's the same idea if you ask me. You want something "fixed"? In Denmark we say "The best die young."
  5. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    Yes, annettehola, you are absolutely right, I confused the words, my fault!
    I meant to say that the first idea is a complement to the second one, but maybe the intention could be the opposite, though...
    No need to get off of any horse, I see it clearly now that you point it to me. Anyway, my question is about a common saying in AE, if there is one, equivalent to "Hierba mala nunca muere".
    "The best die young" is not what I was looking for, but thank you for your time and attention!

    Iliana :)
  6. Sidd Senior Member

    Just to be clear to non spanish speakers, "Hierba mala nunca muere" means always "Bad people last longer".

    If you have a good friendship you will probably call your friends bad stuff sometimes because everybody knows you dont actually mean it. That's the context where you can use that sentence.
  7. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Sidd: Thanks for the explanation!

    Elena: It's very important, especially with dichos and proverbos, to EXPLAIN what they mean first so that we can provide you with the best answer.

    I'm glad you have your answer now.
  8. annettehola Banned

    Venus, come on! What are you glad for? I'm not sure ElenaofTroy has got her answer yet. Have you, oh, Inflamer of both Athens and Spartans?
  9. lauranazario

    lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    Hola Elena.

    Según el libro "2001 Spanish & English Idioms" (Barron's Educational Series), la equivalencia que brindan en cuestión de frases hechas/coined phrases es:

    la hierba mala nunca muere = a bad penny always turns up

    Espero que te ayude.

  10. gian_eagle

    gian_eagle Senior Member

    Peru - Castellano
    que interesante!
    y sería un idiom con alusión a la moneda británica, verdad?
  11. franmadrid Senior Member

    spanish madrid
    En España también solemos decir "bicho malo nunca muere":mad:
  12. annettehola Banned

    "Bad blood never runs dry" ..What do you think, ElenaofTroy? I just made it up!
  13. inevero

    inevero Member

    Puerto Rico
    Hola Ile,
    En el mundo eco he escuchado frases como "bad seed never dies" o "ill weeds grow apace", pero no se si son frases usadas en el lenguaje popular.

    Sin embargo, quizas te sirva conocer el proberbio que usó un amigo muy cercano, estadounidense, que al referirse a un "casi fatal" accidente del que salí ilesa dijo "the devil looks after his own", me hizo mucha gracia y me parece que tiene que ver con "hierba mala nunca muere", ...je, je y eso que no soy mala gente ehh!:p
  14. jacinta Senior Member

    USA English
    I don´t know of a saying in English that means the same. If it were a good friend, I´d say: "We´ll never get rid of you!" but it would be a very good friend!

    "Only the good die young" is more serious, to me. When someone we love or respect dies, we will say this. I suppose you could use it jokingly. My opinion only.
  15. jacinta Senior Member

    USA English
    Oops, Vi esto después del mio, LN. Sí, de acuerdo. Oigo: You`re just like a bad penny!
  16. Christian Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA English
    "It (or he) keeps coming back like a bad penny."

    The reference is to a fake coin, a forgery with no value (sometimes called a "slug"). If you are stupid enough to acept such a bad penny, you are morally obliged to throw it away, not spend it. However, most of us do try to spend it, to pass the "misfortune" to somebody else.

    But its hard to find another person as stupid as you. They keep coming back and saying, "hey! You gave me a bad penny!" The idea is that your own mistakes keep coming back to haunt you.

    But I think the meaning of "Hierba mala nunca muere" is more like "Bad weeds are hard to kill."

    I'll bet the perfect English phrase does exist, probably in Shakespeare....
  17. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    Yes Jacinta, this is just what I was trying to say when I referred to a different intention...

    Venus, this is not my first post, I usually make myself clear enough to get the response I¨m seeking for. You cannot say I didn´t try to explain! Maybe at first I took for granted that someone would simply know the coined saying and post it but after your response I tried -not very successfully, though :( - to give the meaning of it.

    Anyway, thank you Sidd, you were very pertinent with your explanation! You got exactly where the confusion was and made things easier for all of us! :D

    ¡Gracias, LN! De hecho sonaba muy bien hasta que vino Christian y nos dio su muy lógica explicación del dicho en Inglés…

    I think you are right Christian, probably Shakespiare wrote a perfect phrase to express this idea but what I was really wanting was something from currently spoken English.

    Yes franmadrid, that´s the exact equivalent but still in Spanish!

    Wow! You sure can be expressive! I like it! :D

    ¡Gracias Inés, esto es exactamente lo que buscaba! :p

    Thank you all guys, you are always first class!

    Iliana :)
  18. Sefora Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain. Spanish
    Sólo añadir una posible ayuda (espero) para futuras consultas de este hilo. Existe un libro escrito por un tal Chuck Barris titulado:
    "Bad Grass Never Dies: More Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"

    Dudo si será una licencia literaria del autor o si es una frase correcta según qué zonas de habla inglesa. Pero en el caso de que sea una expresión correcta está claro que no puede haber nada más cercano a la frase castellana "Mala hierba nunca muere".

    (para ver la fuente en la que me baso y el libro en cuestión pueden visitar cualquier web de venta online de libros, ya que no se me permite aún poner links :eek:)
  19. alacant

    alacant Senior Member

    Alicante, Spain
    England, english
    Hi, Elenaof Tory, and everyone else,

    As an native English speaker I would say that "only the good die young", is the best equivalent.

    I have a lot of respect for lauranazario, but I don't think think that a bad penny always turns up, is very exact in this context. In any case I always heard it as "he keeps turning up like a bad penny", which is equivalent to "there's no show without Punch".

    With all the respect that I like to be shown to me, Alacant
  20. unkerned New Member

    Spanish Bolivia
    I looked up "hierba mala nunca muere" becuase my grandmother used to say it a lot, now she is dying and I feel some sort of bittersweet feeling thinking about what it means.
  21. Invictus31 New Member

    It is a way of sarcastically praising someone's intelligence, attitude... Like your friend from Plut pulls a 10 woman, demonstrating good mouthpiece, then you can say "Pluto malo nunca muere" with a head wiggle..
  22. JUAN CHILL New Member

    Spanish - Colombia
    About your comment I found this, and in my opinion they don't seem to be the same. Just my take on it, check this up:

    ..."In any case I always heard it as "he keeps turning up like a bad penny", ...
    bad penny always turns upProv. A worthless person always comes back to the place he or she started out. Jill: I just found out that Tom left town after we fought last Saturday. What if I never see him again? Jane: Don't worry. A bad penny always turns up.
    turn up like a bad penny (old-fashioned) to arrive at a place or event where you are not wanted She'll turn up again, like a bad penny, just you see.
    ... which is equivalent to "there's no show without Punch"...
    No Show Without Punch
    The response to a listener, who on hearing a story feels that they must interject with a similar comment, or an inference that they are also subjected to a similar environmental variable. Usually this will be more intense the original commentator. The meaning originates from the Punch and Judy shows which have their root in 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte. The reference being that without the responder, the show cannot go on.
    'Oh my god, I had a power cut last night. I tripped and stubbed my toe'. 'Well, we had a power cut and I fell and broke my collarbone.' 'Really, well I suppose there is no show without punch'
    'I have a sore throat'. 'Well, i have a sore throat AND I've gone blind.' 'Well, there is no show without punch'
    No offense, I'm not keen on English, but I don't think they are the same.
  23. Princesz p New Member

    Spanish- Mexico
    Its a figure of speech. Theres no translation thats verbatum to it. Close matches like ones already suggested.

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