Tener mala pata

Chilean Slang, Swearwords, Idiomatic Expressions


Meaning of Tener mala pata

= Tener mala suerte
= to be unlucky, to have bad luck.

Spanish Vocabulary

Tener = to have

Mala = bad

Pata = is an animal's foot / paw

Literally tener mala pata means to have a bad foot (or paw)! But it doesn't have anything to do with physically having a "health" problem with your foot. It actually means you are unlucky or have bad luck.

If we think about it, sometimes a rabbit's foot is used as a good luck charm or an amulet (often hung around the neck). So if a rabbit's foot is considered good luck, maybe there are other "feet" that bring bad luck. And if you say you have a bad foot, then that would be considered as unlucky.

Maybe it has something to do with the expressions:
levantarse con el pie derecho - to get out of bed on the right foot (= to have a good start to the day).
levantarse con el pie izquierdo - to get out of bed on the left foot (= to have a bad start to the day).

Examples of Tener mala pata

¡He tenido mala pata con mis pruebas. Estudio mucho pero lo que estudio nunca sale en la prueba!
I've been unlucky with my tests. I study a lot put what I study never appears in the test!

Alejandro tuvo mala pata porque llovió el día de su boda.
Alejandro was unlucky because it rained the day of his wedding.

¿Perdiste tu billetera de nuevo? Realmente tienes mala pata.
Did you lose your wallet again? You're really unlucky.

¡Qué mala pata! = ¡Qué mala suerte!
What bad luck!

Tener Mala Pata

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