Italian Idioms and Expressions

Hello again guys :wave:, here are some of the most popular Italian idioms accompanied by a short definition:

:purple_circle: Acqua in bocca - Water in the mouth : invitation to keep a secret.

:purple_circle: Cascare dal pero - Falling from the pear tree : to be amazed by something.

:purple_circle: Nascere con la camicia - To be born with a shirt on: to be particularly lucky.

:purple_circle: Fare il diavolo a quattro - Play devil’s advocate: to make extreme confusion.

:purple_circle: Vuotare il sacco - Spill the beans: to confess.


Thank you!! :slight_smile: these are going to be extremely helpful when travelling!

Grazie mille!! Learning idioms is so helpful!

@Samoa_97 Thank you! :heart_eyes: I love idioms and I have alo 8 more examples :smile: :innocent:

in bocca al lupo

In the mouth of the wolf

Used in theatre this is the Italian, and more poetic, equivalent of break a leg. The typical response is ‘crepi il lupo’ meaning ‘may the wolf die’. Poor wolves, they get a bad rap.

un pezzo di pane

a piece of bread

If someone is un pezzo di pane in Italian you might say they’re a good egg in English.

non mi rompere le scatole

don’t break my boxes

If someone’s breaking your boxes, they’re getting on your nerves and you’re telling them to stop annoying you. It’s worth noting this is a variation of a slightly less polite idiom.

prendi lucciole per lanterne

mistaken fireflies for lanterns

If someone has mistake fireflies for lanterns they’ve confused one thing for another. You might say in English that someone’s got the wrong end of the stick.

hai voluto la bicicletta

you wanted the bicycle

Or in full: you wanted the bike, now get on and ride it. A more active version of the English ‘you made your bed, now lie in it’ – i.e. you made the choice now live with the consequences.

non ho peli sulla lingua

I have no hair on my tongue

One of the more unappetising idioms; if you have no hair on your tongue you’re speaking frankly.

nella botte piccola, c’è il vino buono

in the small cask/barrel, there is good wine

Just like the English ‘good things come in small packages’ only with added wine, which is no bad thing.

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