Beberse los vientos

Category: Spain Terms

You might have heard in Spain the idiom “beber los vientos;” for instance: “Pepe se bebe los vientos por Mari.” And what they are literally saying is that Pepe is drinking the winds for Mari, but figuratively that he is madly in love or crazy about her.

The dictionary of the Real Academia Española explains that “beber los vientos” for someone or something means to highly desire that person or object and to do everything in one’s power to obtain it.

The use of this idiomatic phrase dates back many years—we should say centuries—and it has been used by renowned writers such as Cervantes and Quevedo. We should add that originally this idiomatic phrase read: “beberse los vientos y los elementos” (to drink the winds and the elements).

“Viento,”in Spanish, is not only translated as wind, a flow of air produced in the atmosphere by natural causes, but it is also a smell, the trace left in the air by wild game. “Venteros” are the hunting dogs that search for and pursue their pray by wildly sniffing the “viento” left by them. And this you could think to be the origin of the phrase “beberse los vientos.” So a person who “bebe los vientos por algo” is someone wildly pursuing the person or object of his or her desire.