Ten uncanny things Italians say, and what they mean

Photo: NoHoDamon/Flickr

Avere le braccine corte | To have brief arms

If an Italian familiarity tells we your arms are short, there’s no need to take corruption – though it competence be a good thought to offer to buy them a drink. This is how Italians impute to miserly people who are clearly incompetent to strech into their pockets to compensate for anything.

Photo: Pâl-Kristian Hamre/Flickr

Hai voluto la bicicletta? E adesso pedala! | You wanted a bike? Now float it!

This has a identical definition to a English countenance “you’ve done your bed, now distortion in it!” Usually pronounced with a healthy sip of Schadenfreude.

Photo: Mario Mancuso/Flickr

Cambiano i suonatori matriarch la musica è sempre quella | The musicians change, though a song stays a same

Picture this word spoken by a artificial Italian, propped adult during a bar and grumbling about how things never change. It’s mostly used to insult politicians or authorities who explain to be on-going though don’t seem to do anything.

Photo: Marco Antonio Torres/Flickr

Fare le corna a qualcuno | To put a horns on you

If your partner ‘puts horns on you’, it means they’re carrying an event – we can possibly use a word or simply make a horns gesticulate to indicate someone is being cheated on. As for a start of a phrase, this one comes from Greek mythology. Parsifal, a Queen of Crete, had an dishonest attribute with a Cretan Bull, so when her son, a Minotaur, was born, he had a physique of a male and conduct of a bull; a horns behaving as a pitch of his mother’s extra-marital affair. Greek gestures, sayings and wording found their approach into a Italian denunciation utterly in cities founded by Greeks, such as Naples.

Nowadays a gesticulate can be used as an insult even if you’ve got no reason to assume someone’s partner has been unfaithful. Italian footballers mostly make a horns pointer during a referee, for example.

Photo: Dean Hochman/Flickr

Piove a catinelle | It’s raining like washbasins

Picture someone in sky branch a taps on full blast – this word is only a thespian approach of observant it’s raining heavily. Of course, this is Italy, so it’s also used in continue that those of us from reduction summery climes competence impute to as a ‘light drizzle’…

Photo: Mike Burns/Flickr

Senza peli sulla lingua | Without hair on their tongue

When we ask a crony to be brutally honest with we (not that Italians customarily need most persuasion) we ask them to contend it “without hair on their tongue”. An English homogeneous would be “without sugar-coating it”.

Photo: Eduardo Gaviña/Flickr

Farsene un baffo | To make a beard of it

In Italy, if we “make a beard of something”, it means you’re not unequivocally worried about it; we treated it as if it were as considerate as a moustache. Of course, a observant competence not work for certain Italian group who persevere utterly a lot of time to bathing their facial hair.

Photo: Ed Clayton/Flickr

Avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca | To have a booze cask full and a mother drunk

This is a not totally politically scold Italian homogeneous to a English countenance “to have your cake and eat it too”, used when someone is being miserly or wants to have a best of both worlds.

Photo: Jimmy_Joe/Flickr

Capitare a Fagiolo | To occur during a bean

“È capitato a fagiolo!” is what we competence contend when something happens only in time, during a ideal moment. The observant dates behind to a time when beans were an part that even a lowest Italian families could get reason of and preserve, so if something ‘happens during a bean’, it happens when you’re using out of options – beans are all that’s left on a table.

Photo: Jirka Matousek

Prendere lucciole per lanterne | To mistake fireflies for lanterns

This observant is used when someone has misjudged or misunderstood a situation. In English we competence tell them rather reduction poetically that they’ve “got a wrong finish of a stick”.

By Ellie Bennett and Catherine Edwards

Article source: