“Pasar la noche en blanco” is such a nice idiom!

“Pasar la noche en blanco” is one of those idioms with colours: in Spanish it’s very common to use colours in idiomatic expressions! It might be difficult to understand their meaning if you don’t have a similar idiom in your language: colours express something specific, often related to ancient stories or ways to say.

In this case, the idiom is not too difficult to understand, but we need to have a look at it!

As you probably know, “pasar” means “to spend”, “la noche” is “the night”…but what does “en blanco” mean?

It means “sleepless“, without sleeping at all! So the idioms is similar to “to have a sleepless night” and is very common in Spanish to say that you haven’t slept all night.

The origin of this idiom is quite ancient: it refers to the Middle Ages, when young men who were about to become knights had to spend the night before the official ceremony without sleeping and totally dressed in white.

Let’s see some examples now!

Spanish English
Pasé la noche en blanco pensando en cómo iba a pagar las deudas. I had a sleepless night thinking of how I would pay the debts.
Ayer tomé demasiado café, no pude dormir nada y pasé la noche en blanco. Yesterday I drank too much coffee, I couldn’t sleep at all and had a sleepless night.
Tengo muchos problemas y estoy preocupado, paso las noches en blanco. I have many problems and I am worried, I have sleepless nights.


When was the last time that you couldn’t sleep at all? Try to tell us in Spanish!

And if you want to learn more Spanish idioms with colours watch this lovely video! Also, you can have a look at our online resources to improve your Spanish!