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Misunderstood expression of the week – the clothes peg is gone

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I made some research about this expression, but finally nothing appears, so if you ask to Spaniards they will all answer something similar: ‘If you hang out the laundry and the cloth peg falls, the clothes became a mess.’

Then the RAE ‘Royal Spanish Language Academy’ gives another version about its origin: ‘we haven’t found any explanation related to an anecdote in particular, but it belongs to the colloquial and informal Spanish. It can be understood as a metaphor in the way that cloth pegs are used to made connections so something will work, so if the clothes peg is gone the connection is gone and the subject made crazy thing or behaves in a weird way.’

As well there is a joke with this expression:

There are two bed sheets hanging out and one of them starts to move, so the other asks:

  • What is going on?

The other answers:

  • My clothes peg is gone!!!!






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  1. Rosemary Close

    Is it a bit like the English expression ‘he (or she) has a screw loose’? Or more like ‘the lights are on, the curtains are drawn, but no-one is home’?

    • Conchi

      Hola Rosemary, in Spain we have the expression ‘perder un tornillo’ that means the same as the one you wrote ‘he/she has a screw loose’.
      The expression ‘irse la pinza’ means someone does something without sense.
      Hope you find it interesting.