¿Qué tienen que ver tus uñas con un favor? - An acquaintance of mine reached out to me the other day for a favour. It wasn’t an easy favour and it required me to go out of my way to help him.
I was pretty hesitant and voiced my reluctance when he said ‘hoy por ti, mañana por mi’. Now I’d heard of ‘pan para hoy, hambre para mañana’ before and thought it was related, somehow. But the context just didn’t seem to fit.
Turns out, it meant something completely different!
We have a similar expression in English. But it’s got nothing to do with today, tomorrow, or even the day after: You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
I love this expression partly because of the visual image it sparks, and also partly because it’s in a way, rather practical!
Supposedly, having your back scratched is a pleasant feeling that it’s difficult for you to achieve on your own, so you’d need the help of others. And by that logic, if someone helps you scratch your back, you’d be expected to ‘return the favour’ one day by scratching his as well!
I hope that helps!
Daniel - Tu coach inglés
Soy el director de Daniel Smith + Partners. Tengo más de 10 años de experiencia enseñando inglés a españoles.