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 has 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 ?
But feeling the hour of death to approach, he spake these words in Spanish and said, 'Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, and hath fought for his country, Queen, religion, and honour, whereby my soul most joyfully departeth out of this body, and shall always leave behind it an everlasting fame of a valiant and true soldier that hath done his duty as he was bound to do.
Captain Phips sailed from England in the Rose Algier, and cruised for nearly two years in the West Indies, endeavoring to find the wreck of the Spanish ship.
The seamen of the Rose Algier became discouraged, and gave up all hope of making their fortunes by discovering the Spanish wreck.
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.
So saying, Sir Nigel mounted the white horse of the Spanish cavalier, and rode quietly forth from his concealment with his three companions behind him, Alleyne leading his master's own steed by the bridle.
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.
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.
The report of Spanish cruelty had gone out and every one was frightened.
Many years had elapsed since the events the letter narrated had transpired, and the old man had become a respected citizen of an obscure Spanish town, but the love of gold was still so strong upon him that he risked all to acquaint his son with the means of attaining fabulous wealth for them both.
Fortunately he sailed due north, and within a week was in the track of the Spanish merchantmen plying between the West Indies and Spain, and was picked up by one of these vessels homeward bound.
The usual quadrangular arrangement of Spanish towns could be traced, but the streets and plaza were coated with fine green turf, on which sheep were browsing.
Douglas, accordingly told the constable of the district that we always placed sentinels with loaded arms and not understanding Spanish, if we saw any person in the dark, we should assuredly shoot him.