Where does the expression ‘to go fry asparagus’ come from? This is its meaning

We reveal the meaning of this phrase that is used to send someone far away.

Click here to read the Spanish version.
Surely on more than one occasion you have used this expression, instead of another less pleasant one, to tell someone to leave you alone. Like many of the popular sayings, ‘irse a freír espárragos’ also refers to culinary terms. But what is the meaning of this phrase?

Although it is an expression in disuse, it is part of the collective imagination. In the RAE, the meaning they include is: “to dismiss someone with harshness, anger or without regard”. Its origin is not entirely clear, but the phrase “anda a freír espárragos” appears in some documents of the nineteenth century, referring to a way of telling someone to stop being annoying or inappropriate. According to experts, it is a phrase taken from the Latin proverb Citius quam asparagi coquantur, which means “As long as it takes for the asparagus to cook”. Asparagus is a food that takes very little time to cook, just a boil, while frying is a longer procedure.

Hence the expression to send to fry and not to boil, in order to keep someone more entertained and away for a longer period of time. So you know, if from now on you use that phrase, you will know better why. And if talking about asparagus has whetted your appetite, here are some recipes with this plant that are finger-licking good. So, now that you know its meaning, go fry asparagus -gastronomically speaking-!

And if you are curious about the origin of other expressions, we leave you the meaning of phrases like “de higos a brevas” or “tragarse un sapo“.