a bote pronto

a bote pronto [expression]- off the top of my head; right off the bat; suddenly; without thinking twice

I love it when a completely new (to me) expression pops up in my life. Especially when it’s one that I know I’ll have lots of opportunities to use. This expression actually came from a German friend of mine (Hi Dorit!) who speaks Spanish ‘que te cagas‘. (Pardon my French. I mean ‘really well’).

Dorit and I belong to a group of entrepreneurs, freelancers, kindred spirits and dreamers, who meet once a month in Madrid to talk about our creative projects, brainstorm, share advice, and motivate/inspire each other. (You rock, Legends!)

The other day in our Whatsapp group, a fellow member was asking for recommendations about online learning and knowledge-sharing platforms, and Dorit suggested Udemy, Skillshare and LinkedIn, saying “Son las que se me ocurren a bote pronto.” [Those are the ones that come to me off the top of my head.]

Nice expression, eh? It’s probably no surprise that this one comes from the world of ball sports, where its literal meaning describes any move a player makes immediately after the ball bounces, almost a reflex action, without missing a beat.

Here are some examples of usage in everyday contexts:

No lo sé a bote pronto. I don’t know off the top of my head.

Lo dije a bote pronto. [I said it without thinking twice/I just blurted it out].

Así, a bote pronto, no te lo puedo decir. I can’t tell you off the top of my head.

Google reliably informs me that you can also say “de bote pronto” but it’s slightly less frequent.

So there you go. Have you heard this expression before or is it new to you too? Race you to drop it into casual conversation! Ready, steady, go!



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