Eight common Italian phrases – Italian slang

Cascare a fagiolo - Eight common Italian phrases – Italian slang

Have you ever wondered why after years spent studying Italian on course books, you’re still struggling to understand what Italians say?

There are actually many possible reasons. One of these is that the language you usually study on course books and the language Italians use isn’t always the same.

I mean, it’s always Italian, sure, but while on course books you generally study standard Italian, in Italy, in everyday life, you’ll hear many common Italian phrases typical of Italian slang.

I already write an article about Italian slang. Today, I want to add eight more common Italian phrases typical of informal Italian.

TOCCARE A QUALCUNO

This Italian phrases can express at least two different concepts.
1. It can mean to be someone’s turn.

Example:

Oggi tocca a te lavare I piatti
Today it’s your turn to do the washing-up

2. It can be used to refer to something annoying or unpleasant that happens to someone, who has no choice but to be subjected to it.

Example:

Domani mi tocca lavorare
I’ve to work tomorrow

FAR PESARE QUALCOSA A QUALCUNO

It’s an Italian expression used to indicate that someone keeps underlying something, giving it a special importance. This behavior is generally considered annoying.

Example:

Mi ha sempre fatto pesare il fatto di non aver sposato Renato
She always burdened me with the fact of not having married Renato

METTERCI DEL PROPRIO

This expression meand to do your best or to give your contribution to do something.

Example:

E’ vero, lei lo ha tradito, ma anche Marco ci ha messo del suo per rovinare il loro matrimonio
Sure, she cheated on him, but also Marco did his best to ruin their marriage

NON ESSERCI GUSTO

This Italian expression is generally used when you want to say that doing something doesn’t give you any satisfaction.

Example:

Non c’è gusto a prenderti in giro se poi neanche ti arrabbi
Making fun of you is no fun if you don’t even get angry

TIRARE UN BIDONE

In Italian this expression can mean two different things.
1. It can mean not to show up to a date

Example:

Non ci posso credere, mi ha tirato un bidone! L’ho aspettato per 2 ore ma non si è visto
I can’t  believe it, he stood me up. I’ve waited for him for two hours but he didn’t show up

2. It can also mean to cheat someone

Example:

Questo cellulare si è rotto dopo 4 giorni. Il tipo che me l’ha venduto mi ha proprio tirato un bidone!
This cell phone broke after four days. The guy who sold it to me, really cheated me!

NON ESSERCI UN CANE

This Italian slang expression means that there is no one.

Example:

Quando finalmente sono arrivata alla conferenza, là non c’era un cane
When I finally arrived at the conference, there wasn’t a soul there

A FAGIOLO

This Italian expression is used to indicate that something happens at the right time.

Example:

La vincita alla lotteria è cascata a fagiolo! Ero al verde!
The victory of the lottery has come at the right time. I was broke!

PRENDERSI UNA STRIZZA – CAGARSI SOTTO

These two Italian slang expressions mean to be very scared. Just remember that the second one is very informal.

Examples:

a. Ero a casa da sola ed è andata via la luce. Poi ho sentito un rumore. Oh, mi sono presa una strizza!
I was at home alone and the light went out. Then I heard a noise. Oh, it scared the living daylights out of me!

b. Ero a casa da sola ed è andata via la luce. Poi ho sentito un rumore. Oh, mi sono cagata sotto!
I was at home alone and the light went out. Then I heard a noise. Oh, it scared the shit out of me.

Did you already know these eight common Italian phrases?
Are there other common Italian phrases you know?


Credits

Original images by nile and stickfish

2 Comments:

  1. Hi,

    I personally don’t find literal translations very useful when it comes of idioms. However, since I’ve received some requests to provide possible literal translations of these 8 common Italian phrases, I’m going to add them below:

    1.Toccare a qualcuno = to touch to someone
    2. Far pesare qualcosa a qualcuno = to make something weigh to someone
    3. Metterci del proprio = Tu put something of your own
    4. Non c’è gusto = There’s no taste
    5. Tirare un bidone = To throw a trash can
    6. Non c’è un cane = There’s no dog
    7. A fagiolo = à la bean
    8. Prendersi una strizza = to take oneself a big fear
    9. Cagarsi sotto = to shit oneself below

  2. Pingback: Do you know the meaning of these Italian slang words? - Italian Translation and Teaching

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