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* = familiar, ** = very familiar, *** = vulgar, R = plain rude, Lit. = Literally)

What do you want from me?

Cosa avanzi? (**) When someone is looking at you as if you owe them something.

Hai qualche problema? or C'è qualche problema? (*) Got a problem? Or, is there a problem? Always a good way of starting an argument.

Che cavolo vuoi? (**) What the hell do you want? Lit. What cabbage do you want?

Cos'hai da guardare? or Che cavolo hai da guardare? What are you looking at? Lit. What cabbage are you looking at? In short, Cavolo guardi? Cavolo can be substituted for Cacchio (***) which is a little bit ruder or Cazzo (R) which is very, very rude - used when people really mean business.

Threats

Ti prendo a sberle (**) I'll give you a good slapping.

Ti faccio un culo così (R) I'll make you a bum like this effect which means I will sort you out.

or something to that

Ti rifaccio la dentatura (**) I'll rearrange you teeth.

Me la paghi cara (*) You'll pay dearly.

Tell them where to go

Vai a cagare (R) Go take a dump. Vai a cagare sulle ortiche (R) Go take a dump on stinging nettles.

Ma vai a quel paese (R) Lit. Go to that country. Get lost.

Porco (***) Pig.

Contaballe (***) Liar.

Leccaculo/Lecchino (***) Bootlicker.

Mi fai schifo! (**) You disgust me!

What are you talking about?

Che cavolo dici? (*) What the hell are you talking about?

Non sparare cazzate (***) Don't talk crap.

Who do you think you are dealing with?

Con chi credi di parlare? (*) Who do you think you are talking to?

Credi che sia nato/a ieri? (*) Do you think I was born yesterday?

Mi prendi per scemo/a? (**) Do you think I'm stupid?

Non prendermi per il culo (***) Lit. Don't take me by the bum. Don't take the Mickey.

Ma tu ti droghi! (**) You're on drugs!

Hunger

Ho

una fame da lupi (*) I'm hungry like the wolf.

Mangione/a (*) Someone who eats a lot, usually used as a positive. A foodie.

Mi

mangerei un cavallo (*) I could eat a horse.

È una forchetta buona (*) Lit. She/he is a good fork. Someone who eats a lot, usually used as a positive. A foodie.

L'appetito viene magiando Appetite comes with eating.

Meals

La spaghettata di mezzanotte Midnight spaghetti (aglio olio e peperoncino), the

equivalent of a Friday night curry. The natural follow-up to a few drinks.

Uno spuntino A snack. That's the usual meaning but in Sardinia uno spuntino is a whole-day eating session in the woods usually involving an entire cooked sheep, mountains of vegetables, cheese with worms (I promise there's no tastier cheese) and rivers of wine.

Un pranzetto con i fiocchi - Una cenetta con i fiocchi Lit. A meal with bows. A

very tasty meal, with all the trimmings.

Tasty or not

Da

leccarsi le dita (*) Finger-licking food.

Da

leccarsi i baffi (*) Moustache-licking food.

Gnam gnam! (**) Yummy, yummy!

Fa venire l'acquolina in bocca Makes your mouth water.

Leccornie Delicacies.

Senza fondo (**) Lit. With no bottom. A big eater.

Goloso/a Gluttonous. A foodie.

Golosone/a (*) Affectionate alternative for goloso. A foodie.

Beh! (*) Well

at the start of a sentence when you're hesitating.

Mah! (*) I don't know.

Boh! (**) I don't know and I don't care. You shrug with this one.

Aiah! (**) Ouch! Pronounced like "Hiya!" in Liverpool.

Tsh! (**) No! It's like a short, loud tutting noise or as if you were sucking your teeth very loudly.

Hey! (**) To attract someone's attention or to express pleasure when bumping into them.

Aha! (**) Oh, I see! Your voice needs to start low, go high and back down again in one uninterrupted sound.

Mmmmm! (**) Doubtful, you don't really believe what someone is telling you.

Fa

schifo (*) Disgusting.

Ufff! (**) Pronounced "Oooffarh!". When you're fed up, tired, bored.

Fa

vomitare (**) Makes you vomit.

Uuuuh! (**) Pronounced "Oooooh!". Ooops!

Foodies

Toc toc! Knock Knock!

Bleah! (**) Yuk!

Oddio! (*) Oh god!

Merda! (R) Shit! Not as rude as in English.

Dai! Come on!

Ma dai! (*) Get away! Surprise at something someone has told you, e.g. some juicy piece of gossip.

Allora? (**) Said with hands on hips and a disgruntled tone, this means "Well?" as in "Well, what are you waiting for?" or "Well, are you ready?" or "Well, what the hell is this about?".

Very good

Mega/Super (**) Before anything you want to describe as great, eg. superbello.

Che figata! (**) Cool!

È una favola! (**) It's a fairy tale.

Beato/a te! Lucky you! So lucky it's as if you've been beatified.

Very bad

Che cazzata! Che menata! (***) What crap!

Disastro megagalattico! (**) It's a mega-galactic disaster! I know, I know, a bit of an exaggeration but it can happen

Che casino! (***) Lit. What a brothel! What a mess!

You don't say!

Ma vah?! Ma dai! (*) Get away!

Pazzesco! (*) Crazy!

Incredibile! Incredible!

Madonna! (**) Wow!

Aperitif

Bianco macchiato aperol White wine with aperol (an Italian liqueur) and a slice of orange.

Prosecco Sparkling, dry, white. Prosecchino Cheeky, little prosecco.

Wine

Un quartino (*) A small glass of wine, or a small jug (quarter of a litre).

Un bianchetto (*) A small, white wine.

Un goccio (*) A drop (or twenty!).

Spirits

Un amaro (che fa bene alla digestione) A bitter spirit said to aid digestion, therefore also known as Un digestivo.

Limoncello Summer nights by the sea. A generic name for an Italian citrus-based lemon liqueur that is served well chilled in the summer months.

Grappa Yummy

chocolate, cold, at room temperature, flavoured

grappa

you can have it straight, with coffee, with hot

Beer

Una birretta (*) A cheeky, little beer.

Una birra piccola/media/grande Small/medium/large beer.

In bottiglia Bottled beer.

Alla spina Draught beer.

Una bionda (*) A blonde. Lager.

Una rossa (*) A red head.

Let's have a drink

Andiamo a farci un goccio/cicchetto (*) Let's go for a drink.

Un bicchierino (*) Lit. A little glass. A little drink.

Un ubriacone (*) Someone who gets drunk a lot. To indicate someone is drunk or "a drunk", Italians don't really have a colloquial word but rather a hand gesture. Here's an attempt to describe it: The hand forms a fist but the thumb is left standing out. Then you indicate your mouth with the thumb in a repetitive gesture and at the same time you thin your lips to express disapproval while your eyes give a knowing look.

Tirar su balla, far balla (*) To get drunk.

Good friends and more

La mia anima gemella My soul mate. Can be used for a partner or a friend.

Il bastone della mia vecchiaia (*) Lit. My old age stick. The person who will support me in my old age. Can be a partner or a friend.

Il mio moroso/La mia morosa (**) Used only in some regions, slang for boyfriend/girlfriend.

La mia dolce metá (*) My sweet other half.

A few friendly words of wisdom

Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro Who finds a friend, finds a treasure.

Patti chiari, amicizia lunga Clear understandings, long friendship.

Pochi ma buoni Few but good (quality, not quantity). Used for many things, friends included.

Money

La grana, il grano, la pecunia, i dindi, la pila (**) Dosh.

Un cubo (**) Lit. A cube. A million. This has obviously taken on a whole different meaning since the arrival of the euro.

Un deca/dieci carte (**) An old ten thousand lire note. Ten euros now.

Gli spiccioli Small change.

Cheap or expensive

Costa un occhio dalla testa (*) Lit. It costs an eye from the head. Very expensive. An arm and a leg.

È una rapina (**) A robbery. Very, very expensive, and not worth it.

È un affare It's a bargain.

È un affarone It's a huge bargain.

People and money

Sono al verde (**) Lit. I'm in the green. I'm broke.

Non ho una lira (**) Lit. I haven't got a lira. I'm broke.

Ha le mani bucate (**) Lit. He/she has hands with holes. Spends too much too easily.

Ha le braccine corte (**) Lit. He/she has short, little arms. Stingy.

Petacchino, tirchio, spilorcio (**) Stingy.

Paperon de Paperoni (**) Scrooge.

Comu (*) Communist.

Fascistone (*) Fascist (derogatory).

Sinistroide (*) Left wing (derogatory).

Destroide (*) Right wing (derogatory).

Contapalle (***) Liar.

Sdoganare (*) A spin, a con. To make acceptable (by the government) what was totally intolerable before.

Governo ladro (*) Thieving government

no comment.

Governicchio (*) Small, poxy government. A government destined to fail

Governo balneare (*) Lit. Bathing government. That only lasts for the summer.

Salto della quaglia (*) Lit. The quail's jump. Quails jump sideways, used for those who change political position very easily.

Peones (*) MPs with no noteworthy power, qualities or beliefs. They are believed to only worry about being re-elected and for this reason to frequently practise the salto della quaglia. The term was changed into Berluscones in recent times.

Ribaltone (*) A politician who changes opinion and strategy, etc., very radically and quickly.

Un riccone/Una riccona (*) A rich man. Usually used in a derogatory way, giving the idea of rich and arrogant.

Un arricchito/Un'arricchita (*) Someone with new money, usually followed by something to the effect of: cannot buy taste.

Un/Una nobile Someone with old money. Not only do they have money, they have a certain nobility of attitude too.

Un figlio di papa (*) Lit. A son of daddy. Someone who has wealth and a job thanks to their parents, not their own merits.

Un/Una borghese A bourgeois. Negative connotation. Someone who has made money, is educated and aspires to be part of the higher classes.

Un intellettuale/Un'intellettuale People admired from afar but avoided at dinner parties either because they bore you to death or because they might show up your own ignorance.

Un barbone/Una barbona Lit. Someone with a long beard. Homeless and penniless.

What to do

Andiamo a prendere un boccone (*) Let's go for a bite.

Andiamo a fare quattro salti (*) Lit. Let's go for four jumps. Let's go dancing.

Ci facciamo una pizzetta? (*) Let's go for a quick, cheeky pizza.

Facciamo le ore piccole (*) Lit. Let's do the small hours. Let's stay out late.

Facciamo festone (*) Lit. Let's make a big, fat party. To do some serious drinking.

Staying in

Mi piazzo sul divano (*) I'll position myself on the sofa. A night in.

Cosa fai stasera? Mi metto in pigiama Lit. What are you doing tonight? I'm putting my pyjamas on. I'm staying in.

Un pigiama party Usually a girls' gathering at home. Boys tend not to show off

their nightwear

The morning after the night before

Che balla! (*) What a ball! Referring to the previous night's drunken escapade.

L'antiveleno (**) The antidote. Hair of the dog.

Chiodo schiaccia chiodo (*) Lit. Removing one nail with another. Hair of the dog.

Good moods

È di luna buona (*) Lit. He/she has the good moon. He/she is in a good mood.

Sono al settimo cielo (*). Lit. I'm in the seventh sky. I'm on cloud nine.

Sono strafelice (**) Very, very happy.

Sto da Dio (**) Lit. I'm with God. Obviously happy

Sono felice e beata (*) Happy and beatified

Even happier

Sto una favola (**) I'm in a fairytale.

Sono cotto/a (**) Lit. I'm cooked. I'm in love but up for other things too

Bad moods

Ha la luna storta (*) Lit. He/she has got the moon the wrong way round. Bad mood. This can simply be Ha la luna.

Lunatico/a (**) Moody. Still to do with the moon.

Sto di merda (R) I feel crappy.

Sono distrutto/a (*) I'm shattered.

Sono a pezzi (*) I'm in pieces (can be physical or emotional).

Ho il cuore infranto (*) I'm heartbroken.

Sono morto/a (*) I'm dead. In the sense of tired.

Sono giù (*) I'm down.

Other moods

Ho la testa fra le nuvole (*) My head's in the clouds. Distracted.

Sono per aria (*) I'm in the air. Distracted.

Papi or Paparino (*) A diminutive of papa used by children or used jokingly by 'older' children when they want something from their father. Mami or Mammina (*) Diminutive of mamma. Same use as papi when dealing with mother.

Ho

la ridarella (**) I've got the giggles.

Mi

viene da ridere (*) I've got the giggles.

miei (*) Lit. Mine, short for I miei genitori or I miei familiari, my parents or my family.

I

Me

la faccio addosso (**) I'm going to do it in my pants. I'm scared/nervous.

Mio frate/Mia sora (*) Short for mio fratello, my brother, and mia sorella, my sister.

Sono fuori (**) Lit. I'm out. I'm distracted or drunk or mad or on drugs. Take your pick.

Jobs

Un archi/Un'archi (*) Short for un architetto. An architect.

Un/Una piedipiatti (**) Lit. Flat feet. A policeman. Don't let one hear you saying this.

Un affittacamere/Un'affittacamere (**) A room-renter. Derogatory term for

landlord/lady.

Un/Una prof (**) Short for Professore/essa.

Un caramba (**) Short for Carabiniere. Army policeman.

Working hard or not

Lavoro come un pazzo (**) Lit. I work like a crazy person. I work really hard.

Scansafatiche (**) Lit. Labour avoider.

Schiavista (**) Slave driver.

Il mio moroso/La mia morosa (**) My boyfriend/My girlfriend.

Suocera Mother-in-law. Used also to indicate someone annoying, nagging:

Non fare la suocera (**) Don't be such a mother-in-law.

Il mio ex/La mia ex (*) My ex (often referred to as il bastardo!)

I parenti The relatives. There's a rather unpleasant rhyme that says:

Parenti serpenti (**) Relatives are snakes.

Doctors

Il dottore GP.

Un macellaio A butcher, but also used for dentists.

Uno/Una strizzacervelli (**) Lit. Brain-shrinker. Psychologist/psychiatrist.

How are you feeling?

Mi fa male qui It hurts here. (Where? Here! Too ill to be eloquent)

Sono tutto/a chiuso/a (*) Lit. I'm all closed up. I have a head cold.

Sto da cani (*) I feel like a dog. I'm really ill.

Mi sento come se mi fosse passato sopra un camion (*) I feel as if I've been run

over by a truck. Ouch, very sore all over.

Mi sento morire (*) I feel like dying.

Sono in punto di morte (*) I'm at point of death. An exaggeration, of course, but an effective way of getting some sympathy and TLC.

Non vado da un mese (**) I haven't gone for a month. (That would be to the toilet.)

Good music

Tosta (*) Cool.

Che musica figa (*) Cool music.

Che figata (*) How cool.

Bad music

Sfascia orecchie (*) Ear-bashing music, definitely not good.

Fa

venire il latte alle ginocchia (*) Lit. Makes milk go to your knees.

Da

suicidio (*) So depressing you want to kill yourself.

È mielosa (*) It's honey-like, too sweet, too sickening.

Sembra un gatto strangolato (*) Sounds like a strangled cat.

È una palla (*) Boring.

Girls

Una bella tipa (*) A beautiful girl/woman.

Una tipa (*) Lit. A type. Not beautiful in the traditional sense but attractive anyway.

Una tipetta (**) Lit. A little type. Usually used to indicate an attractively fiery girl.

Una bella gnocca (***) A fit girl.

Una ciospa (***) An ugly, unattractive girl.

Un rospo (***) Lit. A toad. An ugly, unattractive girl.

Boys

Un bel tipo (*) A handsome guy.

Un tipo (*) Lit. A type. Cool and attractive.

Uno gnocco (***) A fit guy.

Un ciospo (***) An ugly, unattractive boy.

Un rospo (***) Lit. A toad. An ugly, unattractive boy.

Un viscido/Un verme (R) A slime-ball/worm. Someone who tries to pull a girl with very cheesy or creepy lines.

Girl meets boy

Abbordare (**) Lit. To board. To pull.

Cuccare (**) To pull.

Provarci (**) To try to pull someone.

Occhi da pesce lesso (**) Boiled fish eyes. No need for explanations, I'm sure we have all been approached by one of these. I'm talking to the girls

Limonare (**) To snog with passion. Something to do with lemons why.

don't ask me

Scambio di lingua (***) Linguistic exchange. Can involve vocabulary or tongues.

Farsi qualcuno (**) To do someone. To have an occasional romantic encounter with someone, usually involving passionate kissing or further

Mettersi assieme (*) To become an item.

Cappuccio/cappuccetto/guanto/impermeabile (**) And we cannot forget precautions Lit. Hood/little hood/glove/waterproof. All meaning condom.

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