Spanish Idioms, #3: Ponerse las botas.
I learned this lovely Spanish expression as I was preparing for a dinner I had organized in Barcelona. I was cooking up all sorts of Mexican specialties (which I have missed SO much since I arrived), including guacamole, enchiladas, etc… and in large quantities. I was speaking to some of the people who were going to be coming that night for the feast, and they told me “Nos ponemos las botas”… to which I replied with a blank stare of confusion.
Ponerse las botas.
They explained to me that it meant that we would all be eating a lot that night, so it was a funny expression to say we should prepare ourselves. I asked “But why boots? Shouldn’t it be about pants or something?” and they just shrugged. After researching the phrase a little bit, I found out that it can have multiple meanings, especially depending on the country (I’m glad I looked it up before actually using it!).
You can use this phrase to signify that you will be eating quite a lot, but it also could mean that you expect to have a lot of success, either financially or by getting lucky that night *wink wink* (but wouldn’t you want to be removing the boots, in this case? hmm). It also means, simply, to get ready for something or confront a problem. I suppose that context means everything, eh?
In the financial sense, it is similar to expressions in English such as “to make a killing” or “hit the jackpot.” In the context of eating, it is similar to “pig out.”