Spanish


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Spanish flag

A nickname for the California rockfish, due to its red and white markings. I caught a Spanish flag while I was out on the boat today.
See also: flag, Spanish

walk Spanish

To force one to leave a place. The phrase might have originally referred to the actions of pirates. A: "Why are you home so early?" B: "Well, they made me walk Spanish."
See also: Spanish, walk

old Spanish customs

Unorthodox, unregulated, or unauthorized practices that are nevertheless widely accepted and long-standing. Because this department existed long before all the new regulations came into effect, there are quite a few old Spanish customs held onto by the more tenured staff that, while not in the service of efficiency, aren't likely to disappear anytime soon.
See also: custom, old, Spanish

old Spanish customs (or Spanish practices)

long-standing though unauthorized or irregular work practices.
This expression has been in use in printing circles since the 1960s; it is often used humorously to refer to practices in the British newspaper printing houses in Fleet Street, London, formerly notorious for their inefficiency. The reason for describing such practices as ‘Spanish’ is not known.
1998 Spectator [Outsourcing] can do much for flexibility and more for costs and it is a proven cure for quaint old Spanish customs.
See also: custom, old, Spanish

walk Spanish

be made to walk under compulsion. informal
The origins of this expression are not clear. It may refer to the practice of pirates on the Spanish Main, who forced their captives to walk in a particular direction by gripping their collar and trousers tightly.
See also: Spanish, walk
References in classic literature ?
Before leaving the West Indies, he met with a Spaniard, an old man, who remembered the wreck of the Spanish ship, and gave him directions how to find the very spot.
When it was finished, the captain sent several men in it to examine the spot where the Spanish ship was said to have been wrecked.
No sooner had he spoken than the English sailors knew that they had found the very spot where the Spanish galleon had been wrecked, so many years before.
But, confidently as the captain had hoped to find the Spanish wreck, yet, now that it was really found, the news seemed too good to be true.
Now they beheld a table of solid silver, once the property of an old Spanish grandee.
Uncertain who were their attackers, and unable to tell their English enemies from their newly-arrived Breton allies, the Spanish knights rode wildly hither and thither in aimless fury.
How say you, Sir William, will you not try the smack of the famed Spanish swine, though we have but the brook water to wash it down?"
Who are you, fellow?" he added in Spanish, "and how is it that you dare to wear the arms of Castile?"
Here on this very spot the galleons laden for the Spanish Government had sunk.
"A society which has received from the Spanish Government the privilege of seeking those buried galleons.
So the theory is that the channel between Gibraltar and Africa was once dry land, and that the low, neutral neck between Gibraltar and the Spanish hills behind it was once ocean, and of course that these African animals, being over at Gibraltar (after rock, perhaps--there is plenty there), got closed out when the great change occurred.
There is an English garrison at Gibraltar of 6,000 or 7,000 men, and so uniforms of flaming red are plenty; and red and blue, and undress costumes of snowy white, and also the queer uniform of the bare-kneed Highlander; and one sees soft-eyed Spanish girls from San Roque, and veiled Moorish beauties (I suppose they are beauties) from Tarifa, and turbaned, sashed, and trousered Moorish merchants from Fez, and long- robed, bare-legged, ragged Muhammadan vagabonds from Tetuan and Tangier, some brown, some yellow and some as black as virgin ink--and Jews from all around, in gabardine, skullcap, and slippers, just as they are in pictures and theaters, and just as they were three thousand years ago, no doubt.
Dan and the ship's surgeon and I had been up to the great square, listening to the music of the fine military bands and contemplating English and Spanish female loveliness and fashion, and at nine o'clock were on our way to the theater, when we met the General, the Judge, the Commodore, the Colonel, and the Commissioner of the United States of America to Europe, Asia, and Africa, who had been to the Club House to register their several titles and impoverish the bill of fare; and they told us to go over to the little variety store near the Hall of Justice and buy some kid gloves.
The report of Spanish cruelty had gone out and every one was frightened.
The children enjoyed a taste of Europe as they rustled up some Spanish tapas and made patatas bravas on the day.