Italian Italy

avere un piede nella fossa

Idiom USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(to have a foot in the grave) • To kick the bucket; used to say that someone has little time left to live.

"Il mio vicino ha 85 anni, ha praticamente un piede nella fossa."

"My neighbor is 85, he basically has a foot in the grave."

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

né carne né pesce

Idiom USED Frequently BY Everyone

(neither meat nor fish) • Used to say that someone has no personality.

"Marco non prende mai posizione, non è né carne né pesce."

"Marco never takes sides, he is neither meat nor fish."

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

fuori di melone

Expression USED Frequently BY Almost Everyone

(out of melon) • To be out of your mind; the melon here is used as a reference to a person's head.

"Lisa, perché vai in giro da sola di notte, sei fuori di melone?"

"Lisa, why are you walking alone at night, are you out of melon?"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

fare il passo più lungo della gamba

Expression USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to take a step longer than your leg) • Used to say that someone should take it slow instead of doing things that are out of their league.

"Ci vuole tempo per raggiungere quell'obiettivo: non fare il passo più lungo della gamba."

"It takes time to achieve that goal - don't take a step longer than your leg."

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

non avere fegato

Idiom USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to not have liver) • This expression is used when someone shows fear and it simply means to be afraid of something.

"Martina non si tufferebbe mai da quella roccia: non ha fegato!" "Ci vuole fegato per tuffarsi da quella roccia!"

"Martina would never dive from that rock: she has no liver! "It takes liver to dive from that rock!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

rigirare la frittata

Expression USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to flip the omelette) • Used when who is guilty of something tries to push accusations back on who is accusing them.

"Mi hai tradito!" "Solo perché tu non mi davi attenzioni!" "Non rigirare la frittata, è colpa tua!"

"You cheated on me!" "Just because you weren't giving me attention!" "Don't flip the omelette, it's your fault!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

Ci sta come i cavoli a merenda

Expression USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(It fits like cabbages as a snack ) • Something doesn’t fit or match at all.

"Che ne pensi di questa borsa con queste scarpe?" "No amo, ci sta come i cavoli a merenda,"

"How about this bag with these shoes?" "No honey, it's like having cabbages as a snack."

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

voltagabbana

Word USED On Occasion BY People Over 40

A turncoat, someone who changes opinion/position/ideas in order to gain some benefit.

"Quel tizio ha completamente cambiato idea pur di non perdere il posto, è proprio un voltagabbana."

"That guy completely changed his mind to avoid being fired, he's a real turncoat."

Italian Italy

Chi ha i denti non ha il pane e chi ha il pane non ha i denti

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Everyone

(Who has teeth has no bread and who has bread has no teeth) • It means that some people have talents and ambitions but no opportunity to realise them and some others have means (usually financial resources) but no aspirations to realise. It is used both to feel sorry for a talented person who can't afford what they want and to criticise a person who has occasions that they don't deserve.

"Maria parla benissimo l'inglese ma non più permettersi il viaggio a Londra, quindi il suo posto verrà preso da Marco, che non parla una parola di inglese. È proprio vero che chi ha i denti non ha il pane e chi ha il pane non ha i denti!"

"Maria speaks English very well, but she can't afford the trip to London, so her place will be taken by Marco, who doesn't speak a word of English. It is true that who has teeth has no bread and who has bread has no teeth!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

buono come il pane

Expression USED On Occasion BY Almost Everyone

(as good as bread) • Literally "as good as bread", translates into "as good as gold".

"Quel ragazzo è buono come il pane!"

"That guy is as good as bread!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

zuccone

Reference USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(big pumpkin) • This is what adults say to children when they don't to understand something.

"Un'altra insufficienza! Sei proprio uno zuccone a scuola eh!"

"Another failing mark! You really are a big pumpkin at school huh!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Italy

stare con le mani in mano

Expression USED Frequently BY Everyone

(to be with hands in hand) • It corresponds to the English “to sit on someone’s hands”. It’s used to refer to someone who isn’t doing anything, especially at the moment of speaking.

"Non posso starmene con le mani in mano mentre i cittadini protestano per le strade."

"I can’t stand with my hands in hand while the citizens are protesting in the streets,"

Confirmed by 6 people

syn

Italian Italy

in culo ai lupi

Slang USED Frequently BY Young People

(in the ass of the wolves) • Used to describe a place that's very far or hard to reach.

"Andiamo alla festa di Manuel stasera?" "Oh no, abita in culo ai lupi!"

"Shall we go to Manuel's party tonight?" "Oh no, he lives in the ass of the wolves!"

Confirmed by 2 people

Italian Northern Italy, Italy

terrone

Word USED Frequently BY Everyone

Since the end of World War II, it's used by Northern Italians to call immigrants from the South. It derives from the world "terra" (land), because while the North was industrialised, the Southern economy was still based on agriculture and landowning.

"Sono nato a Palermo, vivo a Milano solo da un paio d'anni." "Oh, allora sei un terrone!"

"I was born in Palermo, I've been living in Milan just for a couple years." "Oh, so you're a terrone!"

Confirmed by 2 people

syn

Italian Lombardy and Tessin, Italy and Switzerland

Dopo sette fette, ha capito che era polenta

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Mostly old people

(After seven slices, s/he realized it was polenta) • Used to describe someone who realizes something obvious, especially after doing the same thing in a more long or difficult way for a long time.

"Ieri mio fratello ha scoperto che può sbloccare il suo telefono con l'impronta digitale." "Beh, dopo sette fette ha capito che era polenta!"

"Yesterday my brother discovered he can unlock his phone with his fingerprint." "Well, after seven slices he realized it was polenta!"

Confirmed by 3 people

alt

Italian Italy

Il bue che chiama cornuto l'asino

Expression USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(The ox calling the donkey horned) • It can be said to someone who accuses someone else when they're not innocent in the first place. For example - not being able to keep a secret and accusing someone else of being untrustworthy.

"Non sai mantenere un segreto!" "Io?! Tu hai rivelato i miei segreti a tutti. Addirittura, il bue che chiama cornuto l'asino."

"You cannot keep a secret!" "Me?! You told my secrets to everyone. The ox calling the donkey horned."

Confirmed by 2 people

æ

Italian Italy

finocchio

Slang USED Very frequently BY Almost Everyone

(fennel) • The word literally means "fennel" but, if directed to men, it's an homophobic insult like "faggot".

"Luca è molto attraente, peccato che sia un finocchio."

"Luca is really good looking, too bad he's a fennel."

Confirmed by 4 people

Italian Italy

broccolo

Word USED On Rare Occasion BY Everyone

(broccoli ) • "Broccolo" is what you would call someone who is good for nothing and doesn't have any skills. Also someone who is stupid and dumb.

"Non ho parole... Sei un broccolo!"

"I'm speechless... You are a broccoli!"

Confirmed by 3 people

Italian Italy

baccalà

Word USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(salted codfish) • It's an insult used to address an incompetent and stupid person.

"È un baccalà, non è buono a niente!"

"He is a salted codfish, a good-for-nothing!"

Confirmed by 4 people

alt

Italian | Sicilian Sicily, Italy

arancino coi piedi

Expression USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(footed arancino) • You can say this to someone very fat or who eats a lot, because an arancino is a very big fried food.

"Hai mangiato tutto ciò che avevo cucinato! Sei proprio un arancino coi piedi!"

"You ate everything I cooked! You are really a footed arancino!"

Confirmed by 3 people