Every language has a wide collection of idioms and sayings. These have usually a figurative meaning. This means that the words forming idioms don’t carry their usual basic meaning but one more complex. To understand an idiom you’ve to know it because, otherwise, its meaning is usually difficult to guess.
Italian idioms are so common that Italians use them daily, without even realizing it. Thus, if you’re studying Italian, you’d better learn some of the most common Italian idioms. In this way, can both understand what Italians say, and use the language as Italians do.
In my blog, I’ve already talked about animal idioms and color idioms.
Today, I want to explain you some general Italian idioms – composed with the verb andare and fare – that are commonly used in Italy.
Andare a genio
This is one of the Italian idioms used to express an opinion about someone and it means to like.
a- La tua idea non mi va a genio
I don’t like your idea
b- Quel tipo non mi va proprio a genio
I really don’t like that guy
Andare a ruba
This Italian idiom is used to say that an item is selling well.
Il dvd di Checco Zalone sta andando a ruba!
Checco Zalone’s DVD is selling like hot cakes!
Andare in bestia – Andare su tutte le furie
This idiom means to get angry.
Quando mi ha detto che era stata lei a rubarmi a macchina, sono andato su tutte le furie/sono andato in bestia
When she told me she was the one who stole my car, I flew off the handle
Andare all’aria – Andare in fumo
When a project va all’aria, it did not realize.
Ha perso 50.000 euro in scommesse, così il suo piano di comprare un ranch è andato in fumo/è andato all’aria
He lost 50.000 euros gambling, so his plans of buying a ranch went up in smoke
Far girare le palle
This is a very informal idiom that means to annoy, irritate someone.
Continuava a darmi ordini e alla fine mi ha fatto girare le palle!
He kept bossing me around and, at the end, he pissed me off!
Far venire il latte alle ginocchia
This Italian idiom means to be terribly boring.
Lo spettacolo di ieri mi ha fatto venire il latte alle ginocchia
Yesterday’s play bored me to tears
Fare lo gnorri
This expression is part of the list of informal Italian idioms. Fare lo gnorri means to pretend to not understand or to not to know something.
Non fare lo gnorri! Sai benissimo che di cosa sto parlando!
Don’t play dumb with me! You know exactly what I’m talking about!
Farsi in quattro
It means to try very hard to do something.
Lucia si è fatta in quattro per aiutarti e tu nemmeno la ringrazi!
Lucia has bent over backwards to help you and you don’t even say thanks to her!
Farsi le ossa
This idiom means to gain experience.
Si è fatto le ossa lavorando come animatore nei villagi turistici
He cut his teeth working as an tourist entertainer in holiday resorts
Farsene una ragione
It means to resign yourself, to accept something.
Come? Franco l’ha lasciata? Beh, sono sicura che prima o poi se ne farà una ragione
What? Franco left her? Well, I’m sure that sooner or later she’ll get over it
Do you want to learn some other Italian idioms? Have a look at the book Italiano per modo di dire.
What about you? Did you already know these Italian idioms?
Do you know some Italian idioms that surprised you or that you found funny? Share your stories below.
Original image by werner22brigitte