‘Darle vuelo a la hilacha’ – Meaning / In English

In short – ‘darle vuelo a la hilacha’ is a very popular expression in both Mexico and Spain. According to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, ‘hilacha’ means a loose thread and ‘darle vuelo’ could translate as ‘to give flight’. However, it’s used to describe the actions of a hedonistic person.

You can use this expression when doing something on a whim without thinking about the consequences, or when behaving carelessly knowing full well that it could lead to disaster (eek!). 

Perhaps the best translation in English is ‘to let loose’, which actually embodies an idea similar to that of a tightly woven thread (i.e., ‘la hilacha’) “giving flight” or becoming loose …

We could also compare it to the English idiom ‘YOLO’ (‘You only live once’) in the sense that both describe a carefree attitude and/or behaving in a reckless way.

Let’s dive a little further into the uses of this common expression!

Uses / Meanings of ‘darle vuelo a la hilacha

 ‘Darle vuelo a la hilacha’ can be used in the following ways –

  • As a way of saying ‘to let loose’ / ‘to go crazy

  • As a synonym of ‘YOLO’ or ‘seize the day’

As a way of saying ‘to let loose’ / ‘to go crazy’

‘Darle vuelo a la hilacha’ can have both positive AND negative connotations and it’s commonly used in informal contexts.

When people are ‘dándole vuelo a la hilacha’ they are simply enjoying the moment and the experience, even if they know that there could be negative consequences … yeah, we’ve all been there, right?

María – Mis padres se fueron de vacaciones y dejaron la casa solo para mí.

Elsa – ¡A toda madre! ¡Pues vamos a darle vuelo a la hilacha!

María – My parents went on vacation, and I’ll have the house all to myself.

Elsa – Awesome! Well, let’s go crazy!

Joaquín – Bebí mucho tequila ayer en la fiesta. ¡Creo que sí le dimos vuelo a la hilacha!

Jorge – I drank too much tequila at the party yesterday. We really let loose, huh?

Joaquín – Vamos a la playa, tengo ganas de darle vuelo a la hilacha!

Jorge – Let’s go to the beach, I feel like letting loose!

*Erika’s note – a toda madre is Mexican slang for ‘awesome’.

As a synonym of ‘YOLO’ or ‘seize the day’ 

The idea of ‘YOLO’ is that of living the present moment to the fullest and, well, that’s actually the same sentiment behind ‘darle vuelo a la hilacha’.

They both mean to take chances and seize opportunities. 

Alberto – Oye, escuché que embarazaste a tu novia.

Agustin – Sí, hombre, ¡pues es que le dimos vuelo a la hilacha!

Albert – Hey, I heard you got your girlfriend pregnant.

Agustin – Yeah man, we were having the time of our lives!

Pedro – La estaba pasando muy bien en el concierto de anoche.

Federica – Sí, andas dándole vuelo a la hilacha desde que estás soltero, ¿eh?

Pedro – I was having so much fun at the concert last night.

Federica – Yeah, you’ve been having a lot of fun since you’ve been single, huh?

Darle vuelo a la hilacha´ pronunciation

Let’s break this phrase down word by word:

  • ‘Darle’ is said like ‘dahr-leh’

  • ‘Vuelo’ sounds like ‘bweh-loh’

  • ‘A – la’ is said like ‘ah-lah’

  • And finally, ‘hilacha’ is pronounced ‘ee-lah-chah’

/ dahr-leh    bweh-loh ah-lah    ee-lah-chah /

Final thoughts

Hopefully this article has cleared up any doubts you may have had about ‘darle vuelo a la hilacha’!

Remember that it’s an informal expression, but also inoffensive. Definitely whip it out the next time your friend is having a little too much fun or YOLOing with you.   

If you wanna learn another fun Mexican expression, I recommend you mosey on down to our article on ‘dar el avión’.

¡Hasta pronto!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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