Funny Italian expression that always leave English people puzzled

As a native Italian speaker I unconsciously use some Italian idioms that often make English speakers laugh because hard to understand or to translate. :smiley:
Here are some of the sempiternal funny expressions:

  1. Abbiamo una gatta da pelare :arrow_right: having a cat to skin. Referred to a situation that is very challenging.

  2. Stai a fare il giro di Peppe! :arrow_right: You are doing Peppe’s round! Meaning you are beating the bush, going through a useless road to get to the final point.

  3. In quattro e quattr’otto :arrow_right: In four and four-eight. To do something extremely quick.

  4. Acqua in bocca! :arrow_right: Water in your mouth. To keep your mouth shut and keep a secret.

  5. Alzare la cresta. :arrow_right: To raise the crest. To act over confidently or too proudly.

But the best one, that the youngsters use a lot, and always crack my friends up is:

Ciccio, fly down :arrow_right: Buddy fly lower. When someone’s noggin is getting too big because too confident in a situation where they are completely wrong. :joy:

What about you guys? What are the funniest idioms of your own language you used that left someone speechless?


Hello! These ones are great and really used. I remember some others too:

  1. Con i piedi di piombo :arrow_right: With leaden feet when you are going slowly to do something or going to somewhere, with patience.

  2. Occhio! :arrow_right: Watch out take care and stay tuned.

  3. Ti do uno strappo :arrow_right: I’ll give you a passage invite someone to a ride in your car/motorcycle

In Italy there a lot of regional expression that of course, sounds really differente even if the cities or regions ar not so far one from the other.

1 Like