How much was the Porsche? It was bird seed.

Seed (semilla, simiente, grano, pepita) you may know. Perhaps you have seen the phrase “he is the number one seed” (= él es cabeza de serie número uno). In tennis, players are ranked as number one seed, number two seed, etc.

Here the focus is on expressions and idioms that use “seed”. Consider these:

  • A new company receives “seed money” (la financiación inicial) from investors or “start-up funds”.
  • Sometimes people “go to seed” (ir a menos, dar a grana), that is, they do not look after themselves, look shabby (andrajoso) and unhealthy. An example: Mr. Corbyn has gone to seed (… se ha echado a perder).
  • Sometimes people “plant a seed of doubt”, that is, to cause someone to have doubts. In Spanish you might say “sembrar la duda en la mente de algn”. An example: you have planted a seed of doubt in my mind (tu has sembrado la semilla de duda en mi mente).
  • A good seed makes a good crop. This means that good raw materials mean that you will get a good result.

So what about the Porsche? If a Porsche “costs bird seed” it means that it costs very little, is a bargain, or that it is cheap.