they go together like: more than 13 magnificent examples

@richyrocksenglish para muchos ejemplos más de como decir “como uña y mugre” en #inglés visita #fypシ #yourpage #grease #wegotogether #english #vocabulary #vocabularioeninglés #englishteacher #englishcoach #englishlesson #englishclass #englishpractice ♬ Bulls On Parade – Rage Against The Machine

not too long ago in a class a student asked if there is an expression in english that is similar to the mexican como uña y mugre which is used to refer to things that are always together. the phrase translates into english as like fingernail and dirt or fingernail and filth (an extreme level of dirt), but neither is a typcial idiom.

they go together like filth and fingernail?

one possible translation that is widely used is thick as thieves.  it’s used  to talk about people who are always together or share secrets; like a gang of thieves.

the shelby gang from peaky blinders thick as thieves--vocabulario en inglés

tommy shelby and his crew from peaky blinders are thick as thieves

these lyrics appear in the libertines‘ song what became of the likely lads four times…

cause blood runs thicker, oh
we’re thick as thieves, u know

if it’s important to u
it’s important to me

analysis from doom shroom on the lyrics site states

the first line comes from the phrase ‘blood runs thicker than water’, meaning family obligations come before friends. carl [barât] and pete [doherty] often referred to themselves as brothers. thick as thieves is another idiom which emphasises closeness; since thieves rely on each other to stay out of jail, they can’t afford to have any secrets. this could also refer to the libertines’ various law-breaking activities.

carl barat & pete doherty of the libertines thick as thieves--vocabulario en inglés
thick as thieves: carl barât and pete doherty founded the libertines

thick as thieves was also the title of two movies that came out 11 years apart and featured big stars but are more or less forgotten today.

poster for thick as thieves starring alec baldwin and rebecca de mornay vocabulario en inglés     poster for thick as thieves starring morgan freeman and antonio banderas vocabulario en inglés

thick as thieves 1998 starring alec baldwin and rebecca de mornay & thick as thieves 2009 starring morgan freeman and antonio banderas

and there are various idioms that we understand as symbols of going or working well together that have a structure similar to como uña y mugre in spanish.

for example, they go together like birds of a feather. or birds of a feather flock together.

a bunch of flamingos

flamingos (all birds in fact) flock together like birds of a feather

the jonas brothers huge hit sucker starts with this lyric…

we go together better than birds of a feather, u and me

hand in glove characterizes a very close relationship and is the title of this beloved song by the smiths

a headline in the guardian has this headline

Morrissey and Mexico fit together like hand in glove. Is that really so strange?

and the accompanying article finds parallels between the angst (anxiety, dread) in morrissey‘s lyrics and the feelings mexicans living in the u.s. have. morrissey was the smiths’ lead singer.  fit refers to a glove being the right size.

hand in glove
hand in glove 

is it really so strange is another smiths song…

like two peas in a pod  describes people that are alike or inseparable

phil dunphy, played by ty burrell, says he and his dad are like two peas in a pod in episode 21 of season 1 of modern family

I mean, he and I are best buds. We're like two peas in a pod.

buds, short for buddies, means friends.

in modern family, phil is well-known for being buddy buddy with his kids  (closer personally  than the typical dad). buddy buddy can be applied to a variety of situations but is often used to say people are together all the time.

abby anderson‘s song we go together like takes it to another level with numerous pairs that celebrate puppy love including:

candy + jack written in a heaart with an arrow thru it on cement--vocabulario en inglés

two names on a concrete driveway

cherry cola plus bendy straw --vocabulario en inglés

bendy straw and a cherry cola

hands up on a roller coaster (giphy)


in the chorus of the song, anderson presents three more romantic combos…

every sunset, it has a sunrise and
every firework has a july
every left needs a right hand to hold

the structure anderson uses here is reminiscent of the bittersweet couplings that make us feel sad in the chorus of poison‘s biggest hit, (anderson’s sunset/sunrise and poison’s night/dawn are basically the same thing )

every rose has its thorn
just like every night has its dawn
just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song

dawn means sunrise.the first hours of the day.

i don’t really agree that every cowboy sings a sad, sad song

@richyrocksenglish happy cowboy. for more fun & learning visit and search “go together like” #englishpractice #englishteacher #englishcoach #englishlesson #englishclass #vocabularioeninglés #ingles ♬ original sound – richyrocksenglish

and actually, night and day (only slightly different than night/dawn, sunrise/sunset) is more often used as a metaphor for things that are different.  in addition to night and day, we indicate things that don’t go together well, with pairs like…

oil and water vocabulario en inglés
oil and water
cats and dogs
cats and dogs (
fire and ice
fire and ice

fire and ice is the title of one of pat benatar‘s biggest hits

sometimes, there can be confusion based on the comparisons people use. this courtroom scene from the movie big daddy tries to show why sonny (adam sandler) is a good dad.

sonny’s friend, a food delivery guy (rob schneider) first says sonny and his son go together like lamb and tuna fish and then uses a more familiar culinary comparison, spaghetti and meatballs.

spaghetti and meatballs vocabulario en inglés mugre y uña

spaghetti and meatballs (

similarly in this scene from the hilarious movie talladega nights: the legend of ricky bobby…

nascar driver ricky bobby (will ferrell), hershell (david koechner) from his pit crew and cal naughton jr. (john c. reilley) from his racing team are celebrating a ricky bobby victory that was aided (helped) by the unselfishness (altruism, generosity) of cal naughton jr.

waffles and possibly cocaine
is cocaine the secret to her perfect waffles?

naughton jr. explains

it’s always been like that. me and ricky since we were little kids, man. we go together like chinese food and chocolate pudding, let’s face it….we go together like cocaine and waffles.

ricky points out that these combinations don’t really go together and tries to prompt (direct, guide) him into the more obvious blend (mix, fusion) of peanut butter and jelly.  naughton, however, believes peanut butter and ladies is a more typical match.


a peanut butter and jelly sandwich aka pbj

hershell steps in (intervenes) to clear up (clarify) the confusion

tell u what, i’m gonna settle this thing. let’s just get ourselves a whole mess of cocktails, get drunk and work this thing out.

settle and work out both refer to finding a solution. a whole mess of is an idiom that is the same as a lot of.

vocabulary examples from the tiktok at the top of the post include finale, prominent, horny, might, corny, ass, shallow, crush (2 definitions!), naively, ain’t, tryna, spoil, joy, truth be told, showstopper, rip off, make sense, gibberish, quite and actually.  additionally, there are two examples of the shwuh sound used as a filler (a sound that fills a pause).

fun elt practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

do u use examples like these in your language to describe things that go together well or poorly?  which example is your favorite? share your thoughts under leave a reply


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