Italian | Romagnolo Emilia-Romagna, Italy


Word USED On Rare Occasion BY Everybody, especially cinema enthusiasts

(I remember) • Profound memory, nostalgic reenactment or remembrance of the past. Originally a dialectal expression (“a m'arcord”), entered in the common Italian language thanks to the film “Amarcord” by Federico Fellini.

"Ritrovare la bambola della mia infanzia mi ha fatta rivivere un lungo Amarcord."

Italian | Romanesco Rome, Italy


Interjection USED Frequently BY People from Rome

(my balls) • An interjection that expresses stupor and surprise, and sometimes disbelief. Similar to “Wow” or “No way”. Used commonly in Rome, but also in other cities in the Lazio region, such as Anzio, Latina or Nettuno.

"Hai sentito? “Pellegrini ha appena vinto il Pallone d’Oro.” “Mecojoni!”

“Did you hear? Pellegrini just won the Ballon d'Or.” “My balls!”


Italian Italy

che figata

Slang USED Frequently BY Teens

(phrase) • This is used to describe something that is really cool or surprising. "Figata" comes from the word "figa", which is the explicit term for vagina.

"L'anno prossimo vado ai Caraibi." "Che figata!"

"Next year I am going to the Caribbean." "So cool!"

Confirmed by 12 people

Italian Italy

mica pizza e fichi

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some people

(not just a pizza with figs) • Used to indicate that something is not cheap, trivial or simple, but actually special in some way. Pizza and figs were typically cheap lower-class foods, so something not being pizza with figs means that it is not lower-class.

"Ha un dottorato in astrofisica, mica pizza e fichi!"

"She has a PhD in astrophysics, not just a mere pizza with figs!"

Italian | Milanese Lombardy, Italy

va a ciapà i ratt

Idiom USED On Occasion BY Everybody

(Go get the rats) • It literally means "Go get the rats". It is used when you want to tell someone to get lost.

"Sei proprio fastidioso, va a ciapà i ratt!"

"You are annoying, go get the rats!"

Italian Italy

alà bigol

Slang USED Very frequently BY gli scecc

When you have to tell somebody they're not doing something very well.

"ieri ho mangiato 3 uova" "alà bigol"

"Yesterday I ate 3 eggs" "alà bigol"

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

rendere pan per focaccia

Expression USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(to return bread for focaccia) • To give someone a taste of their own medicine i.e. to treat them as badly as they treated you.

"Il vicino tiene la musica alta perché sei stato maleducato con lui? Ben ti sta, ti ha reso pan per focaccia."

"The neighbor is playing music loudly because you were mean to him? Serves you right, he returned you bread for focaccia."


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

(noun) • 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

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!"