Italian Idioms


Rooted in tradition, the Italian idoim has been passed along for years, sometimes centuries. Here are some that I love:

La migliore parola e’ quella che non si dice…the best word is that which is not spoken or…silence is golden.

Stende il piede per quanto e’ lungo il lenzuolo…stretch your foot only as far as the sheet will allow…live within your means

Il pesce puzza dalla testa…an old fish smells from the head…the boss is responsible

It would be fun if you all could send along some idioms of years past. Perhaps we might establish an idiom of the month.

Addio…Dr. Ed

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21 Comments on “Italian Idioms”

  1. JB Says:

    Questa vigna non fa uva..

    A lost cause (This vineyard makes no grapes)


  2. E dolce far niente…it’s sweet to do nothing.

    Usually spoken by someone overwhelmed with work.

  3. Mauro Says:

    “Un bel tacer non fu’ mai scritto”

    [A golden rule, basically saying that keeping the mouth shut may turn out to be a wise thing…]

  4. JB Says:

    Manca un venerdi…(He/she is not all there)
    He/she is missing a Friday

  5. JB Says:

    Non sputare nel piatto dove mangi..
    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
    (Don’t spit in the plate you eat from)

  6. JB Says:

    Quando voleranno gli asini…
    When Hell freezes over.
    (When donkeys fly)

  7. JB Says:

    Dalla padella nella brace–
    out of the frying pan and into the fire

  8. Tom DeNucci Says:

    My grandfather used to say “Fatica puzza!”
    Fatigue stinks….or, It stinks to work hard

  9. Don Says:

    My Italian mother-in-law always said “you have a face like a busted shoe”…

  10. Bernadette Verdile Says:

    My mom’s favorite: “Chi va piano, va sano; chi va sano,va lontono

  11. Bernadette Verdile Says:

    My mom’s favorite: “Chi va piano, va sano; chi va sano, va lontono.”


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