Some cute and basic Italian idiomatic expressions

edited October 2011 in Italian
In case you still do not know what an idiomatic expressions is, let just say that it is something whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up. Here are some Italian idiomatic expressions. More to come of course. 

accidenti! = It is  a well-mannered/mild expletive, like damn! darn or heck. I cannot write the most common expletive here, so just learn the well-mannered one -- you will sound cute, sweet, and innocent.  

amore a prima vista = love at first sight. (Yes, it can still happen, so learn it.)

un bel niente = nothing, nada, zip. (Literally: "a beautiful nothing".)

fannullone = a lazy bum.

fuori di testa = to be out of one's mind. (Literally "out of head".)

portare male [or bene] gli anni = to age badly [or well]. (Literally "to carry [your] years badly [or well].)

roba da matti = crazy stuff.

prendere in giro = to be made fun of, made a fool of.

scemo/a = a stupid person.

fare schifo =  disgust, grossness. Che schifo! = Gross! Mi fa schifo = It grosses me out.

valere la pena = to be worth the while. Non ne vale la pena = It is not worth the while.


  • North Brooklyn Italian idioms:

    Schiavone -- I suppose derived from "schifo" (gross) -- is a derogatory term for a dirtbag or low life.  "Che schiavone!"  means "What a big dirtbag!" or "What a lowlife!"

    Goomba -- essentially meaning "close friend/companion (from the old country or same part of the neighborhood)".  Derived from the Sicilian pronunciation of "compare", which in Spanish would equate to paesano ... old friend and neighbor from the countryside or same small village.  In Sicilian, C is often pronounced like G and Ps are pronounced like Bs, herefore "Compare" morphs into "(G)om(B)are", which shortens into "(G)om(B)a" ...
  • Cool cool,

    Grazie Max2013 & GWK
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