Spanish Expression of the Day: ‘Hacer su agosto’

Here’s what ‘doing the August’ means in Spanish and why it applies so well to what is happening currently in Spain. 

spanish expression of the day hacer su agosto 1
The next time you want to say in Spanish that someone is raking it in or making a pile of money, don’t forget to use this expression. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP

Hacer el agosto or hacer su agosto is a Spanish expression which is used to refer to a period of time during which someone makes a lot of money without much effort and/or without scruples. 

In the literal sense, it means to ‘do the August’ or ‘do one’s August’, but it can be best translated into English as making a killing or feathering your nest. 

August is the peak of the high season and typically the month when hotels, airlines and business owners that form part of the Spanish tourism industry put up their prices considerably.

So you’d be forgiven for believing that this expression came about from the fact that money-hungry businessmen and companies shamelessly cash in to capitalise on high demand during the month most Spaniards take off for their summer holidays.

But the truth is that this saying has been around for centuries before tourists headed on masse to the Spanish coast in August.

The expression hacer el agosto actually refers to the period when Spaniards would collect their harvest and store it, with August traditionally being the busiest month for this, and therefore when peasants and landowners would have the biggest yield or make the biggest profit.

Nowadays, the saying is used mainly to refer to financial profit, and it doesn’t necessarily have to happen during August for the expression to apply, it can be at any point when someone is making a killing.

So the next time you want to say in Spanish that someone is raking it in or making a pile of money, don’t forget to use this expression, as Spaniards will be impressed. 


Los bares y restaurantes de Pamplona hacen su agosto durante las fiestas de San Fermín

Pamplona’s bars and restaurants make a killing during the San Fermín festival.

Elena está haciendo el agosto alquilando el piso de sus padres en Marbella a turistas ricos.

Elena is feathering her nest by renting out her parents’ flat in Marbella to rich tourists.

Siempre pasa lo mismo en verano, suben un montón los precios porque los empresarios quieren hacer su agosto.

The same thing always happens in summer, prices go up a lot because business owners want to make a killing. 

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Spanish Words of the Day: En plan 

Saying ‘en plan’ in Spanish is a bit like…

Spanish Words of the Day: En plan 

En plan is used all the time in spoken Spanish when you want to express intention, mode and attitude.

For example, salimos en plan amigos, ‘we went out as friends’. 

Or estamos en plan fiesta, ‘we’re in party mode’. 

Va vestida en plan militar, ‘she’s wearing military-style clothing’.

In essence, it’s a fast and easier way of setting the scene, a versatile means of describing which is like saying ‘like’, or ‘as’, ‘-mode’ or ‘-style’ in English. 

However, the meanings of en plan have expanded recently thanks to young people, who have adopted it a bit like their filler word or pet phrase (what Spaniards call una muletilla). 

En plan is now used similarly to o sea, used to explain in another way or exemplifies what is being said.

READ MORE: What does ‘o sea’ mean in Spanish?

For example, María está desaparecida, en plan no la veo desde hace más de un año.

‘María has completely disappeared, I mean, I haven’t seen her in more than a year’.

It’s also used when you want to express something as if it were a quote. 

El policía me dijo en plan te voy a multar, ‘the police officer was like ‘I’m going to fine you’’.

Therefore, en plan has become a bit like saying ‘like’ when talking in English and joining ideas together or emphasising something. 

It can be a bit exasperating to hear teens use it all the time, as in:

Hablé con Julia en plan buen rollo, y me dijo en plan eres una cabrona, que ya no quiere ser mi amiga, en plan que no quiere quedar más. 

‘I spoke to Julia on like good terms, and she was like ‘you’re a bitch’, she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, like she doesn’t want to meet up anymore’.

If you don’t believe us, take Robert De Niro’s and Jack Nicholson’s word for it. 

However, en plan can be a very useful tool to get to the point quickly and avoid more complicated sentence constructions in Spanish.