El mundo no es para limpiarse los mocos en inglés — A few years ago, I ran into an old college friend in a restaurant in Madrid.
As you know, British folks really enjoy coming to Spain for their holidays. So that wasn’t much of a surprise.
But barely a month later, I bumped into yet another old friend in Granada!
I told a (Spanish) friend about these encounters and his response left me extremely bewildered: ¡ah sí, el mundo es un pañuelo!
I remember wondering: Is he indirectly telling me I have something on my face? Did I not wipe my mouth clean after lunch? Or does he think the world is... flat?
It wasn’t until he clarified what he meant that I fully understood. And I’m glad to say that the English way to express a small world isn’t as misleading as ‘el mundo es un pañuelo’!
In fact, it’s as easy as a straightforward:
🌎 It’s such a small world!
If you bump into an old friend, to express surprise, you could also say:
🌎 What are the chances!
🌎 What are the odds!
So, my Spanish speaking followers, why do you think a handkerchief is used to express the seemingly small size of the world and the coincidences that take place within?
I hope that helps!
Soy el director de Daniel Smith + Partners. Tengo más de 15 años de experiencia enseñando inglés a españoles.