Cast into a Broken Bag

Echar en Saco Roto

Echar: to cast + En: in, into + Saco: bag/sack/pocket + Roto: Broken = Echar en saco roto: To cast into a broken bag.

This idiom offers a clear mental picture. You throw something into a broken bag, it doesn’t stay there. It falls right out. Have you ever been carrying a grocery bag when the bottom breaks? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Not fun. Ever lost something because you didn’t realize you had a whole in your pocket? That doesn’t sound fun either. Nothing stays in a broken bag or pocket, which is the meaning behind this idiom. However, this specific idiom refers more to thoughts, listening, and comprehending. When something is “thrown into a broken sack,” somebody wasn’t listening, or doesn’t understand or know what the other person was telling them. I don’t know that we have an exact equivalent in English, but we have some phrases or slang terms that we use to mean the basic same thing.

Somebody said it “on deaf ears” or “it went in one ear and out the other” or “that was over my head,” or even “I was zoning.” All of these different sayings or phrases convey the same meaning-we didn’t get it, we missed it, we weren’t listening etc. Basically, we have no idea what just happened. Our brains and mind didn’t absorb what was just said, so we’re kinda lost. Visually, there’s not a much better way to put it than “echar en saco roto.” The Spanish version just puts a picture to what we say. The thought went in the bag in one way or another, yeah we read it, heard it, etc, but the thought didn’t stay there. It fell right through.

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4 Responses to Cast into a Broken Bag

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  3. Kristen Laubscher says:

    I love this saying! Sometimes things are just said so much better in other languages. Echar en Saco Roto creates such a perfect image. So interesting!

  4. Zaynab Yousuf says:

    I’ve been taking Spanish pretty much since first grade (the only year I didn’t take it was sixth grade) and I love learning Spanish idioms. When I first read them they make absolutely no sense, but once they are explained I think they’re fantastic; I, too like the imagery. As much as I like idioms and cliches in English as well, they just seem so literal when compared to those in Spanish. This is an interesting topic to blog about!

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