In this article we are going to explain you the meaning of some of the sayings that are used in Spanish as colloquial expressions with the verb "poner", and at the same time we are going to explain you the historical origin and why they are used.
1.- Poner pegas
To put obstacles or difficulties for carrying out an activity. The expression seems that it comes from a well-known cheating, that was made in the past in some card games and that consisted of greasing slightly some of them with wax and another sticky substance to be united to each other. The person to whom was put this kind of cheating had considerable difficulties to win the game.
Decide tú adónde vamos de vacaciones, porque siempre tienes que poner pegas a todo lo que digo.
2.- Poner los puntos sobre las íes
To speak with clarity and determination about subject. The expression started in century XVI, when the use of the gothic characters extended between the copyists. It was easy to confuse the lower case letter u with the two íes lower case letters ii due to this type of handwriting, a grouping quite common in Latin. It is necessary to remember that the lower case i did not have point at that time. For that reason, only in case when appeared two íes in a text, to avoid confusions, it was begun to use the tilde upon each one of them. The use extended later to the simple i. From this effort and interest by the clarity comes the meaning of this saying.
En la reunión, el director puso los puntos sobre las íes a propósito de los aumentos de sueldo previstos.
3.- Poner parches
To apply temporary and ineffective solutions. This expression has his origin in the patch, that is a piece of material which it is covered a hole of a cloth with or the plastic rubber that we use to stick a wheel flat of a bicycle. All these solutions usually are not definitive and a more careful repair it 's necessary.
Intentar arreglar la situación llevando a su mujer de viaje es sólo poner un parche que no arreglará su separación.
4.- Poner una pica en Flandes
To finnish a difficult work successfully or to bring off a coup. History tells us the difficulties that during century XVII, in the Felipe IV reign, the Spanish army had to be able to list soldiers to fight in Flandes, mainly soldiers who wanted to take the "pica", that means a lance, to fight on the first battle line. It was really complicated to get a "pica" in Flandes, neither a soldier nor a group of them.
Enhorabuena, has puesto una pica en Flandes, porque conseguir leer y entender esa película es poco menos que imposible.
5.- Poner a alguien los cuernos
To be unfaithful to somebody, to cheat on somebody. The interpretation of this saying goes back to gentlemen behavior of the Nordic countries regions in the past. Apparently,they had a kind of right to spend a night with a woman who lived in his possessions. When the governor came in the house of the chosen woman, elk horns were hung at the outside of the door to indicate that he was inside (something as well as "does not bother" of the hotels). The position of this horns was not only cause of dishonor for the husband, but it was also a reason for legitimate pride.
Su mujer ya estaba harta de soportar que él le pusiera los cuernos y ha pedido el divorcio.