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Only Joe King

A light-hearted look at life in Andalucía and Spain in general. Its good points and its bad. This blog doesn't pull any punches.

Sayings in Bars and at the Office
Monday, November 28, 2022 @ 8:18 AM

Recently, Only Joe King wrote about mottos and quotes on sugar packets. But of course, such slogans pop in all sorts of other places, in pubs and bars, at the office, in loos, on fridge magnets and on the world wide web. And not just in Spain.

In this second follow-up article to “Sugar, Sugar!”, Joe shares some more examples of witty, wise and warming words.


Pubs and bars

Of course, mottos, quotes and sayings are not only to be found on sugar packets. The bar or pub is also a good source, in particular for advice about drinking and asking for credit. Here are a few on drinking from Spain, England and Germany:

“Si bebes para olvidar, paga antes de empezar.”

[If you’re drinking to forget, pay before you start!]


“Wein auf Bier, das rate ich dir.

Bier auf Wein, lass das sein.“

[Wine on top of beer, I can recommend, but beer on top of wine, leave it be.]


[Note: Julie Wilkinson has offered a neat little rhyme in English with a similar meaning, one which I had never come across:

"Beer before wine is fine;

wine before beer is queer."

Thanks Julie.]


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" [Benjamin Franklin]


“Beer, the cause of and solution to all of life’s little problems.” [Homer Simpson]


“Alcohol won’t solve your problems, but neither will water or milk.” [Anon]


Then, there are these variations on the theme of saving water:


“Save water, drink beer!”

“Save water, drink wine!”

“Save water, bath or shower together!”


And regarding the loos:


“Gents to the left, as the Ladies are always right.”


“Mea con gusto, mea contento, pero si te pido que mees por dentro.”

[Pee happily, pee with joy, but, please, I beg you, pee in the bowl!]


“Im sitzen pinkeln”

[Gents, please sit down even for a pee!]


“Gentlemen. Please stand closer. It may be shorter than you think!”


On the subject of credit:


“Please do not ask for credit, as a refusal often offends.”


“Si por fiar tengo amigos pero los pierdo por cobrar, para evitar enemigos lo mejor es no fiar.”

[If by trusting people I have friends, but I lose them when I charge them, it’s better not to trust people to avoid having enemies.]


Or the rather more abrupt:

“No se fía y punto.”

[We trust nobody. Full stop!]



A lot of German mottos are entertaining and uplifting:

“Happy wife, happy life.”


„Wir sind auf der Welt, um glücklich zu sein.“

[We‘re here on this earth to be happy.]


In the office

„Das Fangen von Schmetterlingen und Vögeln im Buro ist verboten!“

[Catching butterflies and birds in the office is prohibited (Vögeln also means “Screwing” or “Bonking”).]

“Another day done. All targets met. All systems fully operational. All customers satisfied. All staff keen and well-motivated. All pigs fed and ready to fly!”


Look out for part three of this series of articles, "Sayings on Fridges and on the Web", coming soon.

If you missed the first article in this trilogy, click "Sugar, Sugar!"


With acknowledgements to:

A1 Photo Archive

Café Central, Zafra, Extremadura

Casa del Jamón, Ronda

Bar El Encuentro, Benaoján

Matt Groening

Bar La Palma, Benaoján

Rivas Construcción, Ronda

Hotel Ronda Valley, Ronda

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