12 Funny Italian Sayings That Don’t Quite Translate Into English

Have you ever heard a strange expression in Italian and then when you try and translate it, it makes no sense at all? Check out this list of funny/weird Italian expressions and what they really mean!


Have you ever heard a strange expression in Italian and then when you tried to translate it, it made no sense at all? This list of funny/weird Italian expressions may help you out as we explain the meaning behind them!


1. Che pizza!

Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite on Unsplash

Translated: What a pizza!

Meaning: What a bore!


2. Mangi la minestra o salti dalla finestra

Photo by ZHU GUOYONG on Unsplash

Translated: Eat the soup or jump out the window.

Meaning: It’s my way or no way.


3. In bocca al lupo

Photo by Tahoe Beetschen on Unsplash

Translated: In the wolfs mouth.

Meaning: Good luck! (or break a leg!)


4. Ma che cavolo!

Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash

Translated: But what cabbage?!

Meaning: What the heck/hell?!


5. Non fare il salame

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Translated: Don’t make salami!

Meaning: Don’t be an idiot!

6. Essere al verde

Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

Translated: To be green.

Meaning: To be broke.


7. Avere culo

Photo by Charles  on Unsplash

Translated: To have ass.

Meaning: To be lucky.


8. Che baccala!


Photo by Gregor Moser on Unsplash


Translated: What a cod fish!

Meaning: What a fool!

9. Prendere in giro


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


Translated: To take for a spin.

Meaning: To tease/bother someone.


10. Porca miseria


Photo by Christopher Carson on Unsplash


Translated: Pigs misery.

Meaning: Damn it!


11. Avere le braccine corte


Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash


Translated: To have short arms.

Meaning: To be cheap. (Your arms are short and therefore you can’t reach your pockets)


12. Non avere peli sulla lingua


Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash


Translated: Don’t have hairs on your tongue.

Meaning: Say it like it is.


Do you know any other funny Italian phrases or expressions? Let us know in the comments.




Main Photo by Priscilla Du Preez [Unsplash]




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