Italian has many idiomatic expressions that can be hard to remember because their meaning is usually very different from the meaning of the single words composing them.
Many Italian idiomatic expressions include the word eye, occhio.
So, I’ve decided to write a short list of some of these Italian idiomatic expressions with the word eye.
1. A occhi chiusi
When you do something a occhi chiusi, you’re actually doing it without any difficulty or help from other people.
Ex: Potrei assemblare questa scrivania a occhi chiusi.
I could put together this desk with my eyes shut.
2. A occhio
If you do something a occhio, you’re doing it without measuring anything. So, it can usually be replaced with expressions like all’incirca, più o meno, approssimativamente – roughly, around, approximately – etc.
Ex: A occhio saranno 10 metri
They’ll be ten meters roughly
You can find this expression written also as “a occhio e croce”.
3. A perdita d’occhio
A perdita d’occhio is an Italian expression used to indicate that something is incredibly vast, so vast that from where you’re standing, you can’t see where it ends.
Ex: Questa prateria si estende a perdita d’occhio
This meadow stretches as far as the eye can see
4. A quattr’occhi
If you want to talk to someone a quattr’occhi, you want to see him in person, face to face, in private.
Ex: Ho bisogno di parlarti a quattr’occhi
I need to talk face to face with you
5. A vista d’occhio
If something changes or grows a vista d’occhio, it means that it does that quickly.
Ex: Il riso che abbiamo seminato cresce a vista d’occhio
The rice we planted is growing quickly
6. Avere gli occhi foderati di prosciutto
If someone has gli occhi foderati di prosciutto, he doesn’t see the most obvious things.
Ex: Marco ha proprio gli occhi foderati di prosciutto!
Marco can’t see what’s right under his nose!
Another way to say the same thing in Italian is: avere le fette di salame sugli occhi.
7. Chiudere un occhio
When someone chiude un occhio usually pretends not to notice someone’s fault.
Ex: Signora, qui non si può parcheggiare. Per questa volta chiudiamo un occhio ma la prossima le facciamo una multa.
Miss you can’t park here. This time we turn a blind eye but the next one you’ll get a fine.
8. Dare nell’occhio
This is the last of today’s Italian idiomatic expressions with the word eye.
Dare nell’occhio means to draw the attention, to get noticed and it’s usually used in negative sentences.
Ex: Cerca di non dare nell’occhio, nessuno deve sapere che siamo qui
Try to keep a low profile, nobody must know we’re here.
How many of these Italian idiomatic expressions did you already know? What’s your favourite?
Original image by cocoparisienne