pay the piper

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Gorrión

Member
USA, English
El diccionario me ofrece "sufrir las consecuencias" para "to pay the piper." (If you want to dance, you have to pay the piper.) Hay otras expresiones más idiomaticas, o sea, con más sabor, más ironía?
-Gracias.
 
  • Caliban

    Senior Member
    Español
    "to pay the piper" would be the same as "to call the tune" which is translated as "llevar la batuta" or "llevar la voz cantante"...ive also heard the expression "pagar el pato" which is, I think, the closest idiom to pay the pipe...
     

    alexacohen

    Banned
    Spanish. Spain
    Creo que no, Caliban.
    "Llevar la batuta", "llevar la voz cantante", al menos en España, equivalen a "dirigir", pero no a "sufrir las consecuencias".
    Y "pagar el pato", en España, se dice cuando algún inocente sufre un castigo por las acciones de otra persona.
    La frase más parecida que se me ocurre para la que ha dado Gorrión es:
    "No se puede hacer una tortilla sin romper los huevos": Si quieres comer una tortilla, tienes que romper los huevos.
     

    Gorrión

    Member
    USA, English
    Las frases que me ofrece Caliban son nuevas para mí, y se las agradezco. En el sentido que busco, creo que la de las tortillas y los huevos de Alexacohen lo acerca más... Como lo usamos en mi región, "If you want to dance (Si quieres bailar) you have to pay the piper (tendrás que pagarle al músico)" tiene un realismo pragmático.
     

    triumphraptor

    New Member
    English and American English (1/2 my life in each!)
    Very interesting - there are two ''dichos":

    1) He who pays the piper calls the tune

    meaning, whoever is paying the bill may decide exactly what gets done in recompense for the money. For example, when deciding what kind of wine to buy at a dinner, one might point to the host and say "he who pays the piper, calls the tune": meaning - you get to decide, since you are paying.

    But there is a another different (and not clearly related) saying:

    2) Pay the Piper

    Means to suffer the consequences. "Now she has to pay the piper", means that she has to suffer the consequences of her actions. For example, one might say- with a hangover - "I am paying the piper this morning".. or if someone as done a bad thing, one might say "One day, he will pay the piper"

    Presumably, the source of this is the idea that - after some indulgence/fun/crime - a party at which the piper played - he has to be paid afterwards.

    I hope this helps - I have never really thought about these two phrases before. As they say, you can often only know your own language by learning another!

    Gracias.
     

    Lis48

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Well explained triumphraptor. The two similar expressions have different meanings.
    "Pay the piper" comes from the story of the pied piper of Hamlin who agreed to entice away the rats but when he was not paid, he lured away the children as well. Hence you must pay the piper and accept possible unpleasant consequences.
    "He who pays the piper calls the tune" is an old proverb meaning the person who hires another determines the services given.
     

    Gorrión

    Member
    USA, English
    Interesting additions and amplifications to the thread.
    Trimphraptor, given that I was focused on the negative meaning, it was satisfying to be reminded of the inverse. What a fluid language we have.
    And Lis48, your backtrace to the Pied Piper evoked an Aha! On my side of the Atlantic "to pay the piper" has both the milder negative meaning of "you get what you pay for," with the implied context simply of dance, and also the much more serious "uh-oh, now you're in for it" meaning for which yours is doubtless the original source.
    Many thanks.
     

    Naufragadf

    Senior Member
    Argentinean/Mexican Spanish/Am. English
    He who pays the piper call the tune could be translated as: El que tiene la pelota siempre juega. (He who owns the ball always plays)
    And to pay the piper could be: El que quiere celeste que le cueste.
     

    Naufragadf

    Senior Member
    Argentinean/Mexican Spanish/Am. English
    It means that if your dead you can´t complain or cry about it, so it´s best to accept a bad situation if it´s a little better than death.
    The equivalent being: a skull can´t cry. Dead men don´t cry
     

    igoraseru

    Member
    Spanish- Spain
    It means that if your dead you can´t complain or cry about it, so it´s best to accept a bad situation if it´s a little better than death.
    The equivalent being: a skull can´t cry. Dead men don´t cry

    Sorry, but I think that it has nothing to do with "pagar las consecuencias- pay the piper".
     
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