Italian | Sicilian Sicily, Italy

cu’ si fa pecura, u lupu su mancia

Idiom USED Frequently BY Sicilian

(who becomes sheep, wolf eat) • It is an exhortation to be strong and decisive. If in life you appear weak or not very decisive, you risk finding someone who wants to bully or hurt you. The metaphor of the wolf eating the sheep represents someone who takes advantage of another's weakness.

"Picchì ghianci?" "Mi hanno rubato il pranzo oggi" "Ah, e nun'na ghianciri, viri ca cu’ si fa pecura, u lupu su mancia"

"Why are you crying?" "Today someone took my lunch" "Oh, don't cry, who becomes sheep, the wolf eat"


Italian Italy

colpo di fulmine

Idiom USED on occasion BY some people

(hit of a lightning ) • The feeling of love that comes from the first time you met someone.

"Ho incontrato una ragazza in metro, penso di aver avuto un colpo di fulmine, non smetto di pensarla!"

"I met some girl while on the subway and I think I got a hit of a lightning, I can't stop thinking about her!"

Italian Italy

Che pizza!

Expression USED Frequently BY Everyone

(What a pizza) • It means “what a bore“ and can describe something or even someone.

“Che pizza questo concerto”

“What a pizza this concert”

Italian Neapolitan and other southern dialects, Italy


Word USED Frequently BY Everyone

It defines a state of melancholic nostalgia towards something that is currently missing in your life and won't be likely recovered. Usually, it accompanies people relocating to a new place far away from home, but it can also be extended to more general reflections about life and our existential condition.

"Ajere m'agge curcato, penzanne a la vita mije ultimamente e quille che ce vole pe te fa l'abbetudene de vive all'estere: tanne, l'appocundria m'è scuppiate mbiette!"

"Yesterday I was lying in bed thinking about my latest life events and what it takes to adapt to a new life abroad: that's when appocundria started to kick in!"

Italian Italy

essere in balia

Expression USED Frequently BY Some people

To be at the mercy of something.

"La nave è in balia delle onde"

"The ship is at the mercy of the waves"

Italian Italy

darsi all'ippica

Idiom USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to take up horse racing) • To change one's profession due to incapacity or unskillfulness in a previous job. This idiom is mostly used in the form of rather direct and dismissive advice/suggestion. Comparable to English "go climb a tree" or "go take up knitting."

"Luigi non è assolutamente in grado di svolgere il suo lavoro. Farebbe meglio a darsi all'ippica."

"Luigi is absolutely unable to do his job. He'd be better off taking up horce racing."

Confirmed by 2 people


Italian Italy

perdersi in un bicchiere d’acqua

Idiom USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to get lost in a glass of water) • It means to worry or make a big deal of something that is actually a small problem or not a problem at all.

"All'esame orale, mi sono perso in un bicchier d'acqua."

"At the oral exam, I got lost in a glass of water."


Italian Italy

campa cavallo che l'erba cresce

Proverb USED Frequently BY Almost Everyone

(live, horse, and grass will grow) • Used to say that you waiting for something is like a horse waiting for the grass to grow to eat. It's not happening anytime soon.

"sto aspettando che Giovanni mi risponda al messaggio" "campa cavallo che l'erba cresce"

"I'm waiting for Giovanni to reply to my text" "live, horse, and grass will grow"

Confirmed by 3 people

Italian Italy

far venire la pecola

Expression USED On Very Rare Occasion BY Some people in northen italy

(to give pecola) • It’s words' play. Pecolla doesn’t actually mean anything. You can use it when someone is being really annoying, and if they tell you they don’t know what it means, the answer is: “ la pel del cül che se descola” aka my butt’s skin that’s coming off (due to my annoyance with you).

“Smettila, mi stai facendo venire la pecolla” “La cosa?” “La pecolla, la pel del cül che se descola”

“Stop it, you are giving me pecolla.” “Giving you what?” “Pecolla, my butt’s skin that’s coming off”

Italian Italy

Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(The wolf looses its fur but not its vice) • This proverb describes that it’s very difficult to get rid of a bad habit.

“Perché vi siete lasciati?” “Mi ha di nuovo tradito!” “Te l’ho detto, il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio!”

“Why did you break up?” “She cheated on me again!” “I told you already, the wolf looses its fur but not its vice!”

Confirmed by 4 people



Italian Italy

acqua in bocca

Expression USED On Occasion BY Almost Everyone

(water in the mouth) • To keep quiet. If you have your mouth full of water, you cannot talk!

"Mi raccomando, acqua in bocca!"

"But remember, water in the mouth!"

Confirmed by 3 people

Italian Italy

perdersi in un bicchiere d’acqua

Expression USED Frequently BY Everybody

(to lose oneself in a glass of water) • To make a problem look bigger than it is.

"È proprio imbranato, si perde in un bicchiere d’acqua."

"He’s so clumsy, he loses himself in a glass of water."

Italian Italy

l'acqua cheta rovina i ponti

Proverb USED On Occasion BY Almost Everyone

(calm water ruins the bridges) • Referring to the erosive power of water, it's used to describe people that come across as quiet, but they do their work without being noticed (the work having a negative connotation).

"Hai sentito che ha combinato Luca? É riuscito a fregare tutti! Chi lo avrebbe mai detto!" "Eh, l'acqua cheta rovina i ponti!"

"Have you heard about Luca? He screwed everybody! Who could have possibly told!" "Eh, calm water ruins the bridges!"

Italian Italy


Word USED Frequently BY Everybody

Drowsiness after a rich and abundant meal.

"Non mangio ora o dopo mi viene l'abbiocco."

"I won't eat now, or I'll get an abbiocco later. "



Italian Italy

in bocca al lupo

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some People

(in the wolf's mouth) • When you're wishing someone good luck for something.

"Cosa fai oggi?" "Ho un esame d'inglese" "Ah, in bocca al lupo!"

"What are you doing today?" "I have an English exam" "Ah, in the wolf's mouth!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian | Apulian,from Bari Puglia, Italy

trimone a vento

Idiom USED On Occasion BY People from puglia, around Bari.

Trimone is an idiot, but rather vulgar, it's like dickhead but intead of insulting both moral fiber and intelligence of a person (dickhead is a bad person in general) it only expresses the stupidity and idiocy of someone. The "a vento" part is a metaphor which in this context indicates that this person won't ever shut up.

"Ha parlato per un ora del legame tra vaccini e 5g." "Lascia stare è un trimone a vento."

"He spoke for an hour about the connection between vaccines and 5g." "Ignore him, he is an idiot."

Italian Italy

a babbo morto

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some People

(to dead father) • It means someone can't pay and is not expected to pay anytime soon, so they say I will pay my debt when I will inherit my father's property.

"Ma il saldo?" "A babbo morto."

"What about the debt?" "to dead father."


Italian Italy

le basi

Standard Phrase USED On Rare Occasion BY younger generation mostly

(n.) • (the basics) • It's a way to pick on your friends for not knowing something that should be common (or basic) knowledge. It conveys a slight (jokingly) disappointment. You would expect that person to know something, and when you talk about it they have no clue what you’re talking about.

"Dai, non ci credo che non lo sapevi! Le basi!"

"C'mon, I can't believe you didn't know! The basics!"


Italian | Regional Italian Italy


Slang USED Frequently BY everybody

(n.) • It means feeling sleepy and full after a big meal.

“Dopo pranzo mi è venuto l’abbiocco e mi sono messo a dormire”

"I felt the abbiocco after lunch and I went to sleep"

Italian Lombardia, Italy


Slang USED Frequently BY Almost Everyone

In Lombardia, it means chewing gum, but it can mean either that or cigarette butt, depending on where you are from.

"hey, non è che mi daresti una cicca?" "certo, tieni."

"hey, could you please give me a chewing gum?" "of course, take it."