Five Italian sayings about hens and eggs

Italian sayings about hens and eggs

Easter has just passed in Italy, so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some very common Italian idioms about hens and eggs, which are some of the symbols of Easter in Italy.

1. Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani

This Italian saying concerns both hens and eggs, and is usually used to remind someone that it’s always better to choose to have a sure thing now than to choose the possibility – not the certainty – to have more later.

+ Puoi fermarti e andartene adesso con 5000 euro o continuare a giocare e provare a vincere 10.000 euro.
+ You can walk away with 5000 euros now or keep playing and try to win 10.000 euros.

– Sai come si dice, meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani, mi fermo.
– You know how they say, better an egg today than a hen tomorrow, I stop.

2. La prima gallina che canta ha fatto l’uovo

This Italian idioms ivolving hens and eggs means that the first person who accuses someone for having done something is in reality the one who did it.

+ Mamma, hai visto che il vaso in salotto è rotto?
+ Mommy, did you see that the vase in the living room is broken?

– Ah sì, chi sarà stato? Mi viene in mente il detto: la prima gallina che canta ha fatto l’uovo
– Really? Who did it? A saying comes to my mind: the guilty dog barks the loudest

3. Rompere le uova nel paniere

This Italian idiom literally means to break the eggs in basket. However, idiomatically it means to ruin someone’s plans.

Ex: Aveva pianificato di andare a Londra ma sua figlia gli ha rotto le uova nel paniere ammalandosi
He had planned to go to London but his daughter ruined his plans by getting sick

4. Cercare il pelo nell’uovo

Cercare il pelo nell’uovo literally means to search the hair in the egg. Idiomatically, it means to be excessively meticulous, to find the smallest flaw.

Ex: Se proprio devo cercare il pelo nell’uovo, direi che questa torta è un po’ troppo dolce
If I really have to find a flaw in this cake, I’d say that it’s a little bit too sweet

5. Trovare la gallina dalle uova d’oro

This Italian idiom literally means to find the hen that lays golden eggs. The real meaning of this idiom, however, is to find something or someone who can make you earn easy money.


+ Mamma, mi dai 100 euro per la disco?
+ Mum, can I have 100 euros for the discotheque?

– Assolutamente no. Non sono mica la gallina dalle uova d’oro!
– Absolutely not. I’m not your golden goose!

Can you come up with other Italian sayings involving hens and eggs?


Original image by Alexas_Fotos

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