Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

A pig of an insult

A pig of an insult
Italians have a bit of an obsession with pigs. Certainly when it comes to crafting witty, or just plain disgusting, insults. We’ve already told you about Porca Miseria (misery is a pig) – a useful saying when expressing general unhappiness with a situation.
But Porca Miseria is just the tip of the iceberg, or should we say, snout of the pig. Combining the pig with other insults is a surefire way to amplify the creativity and the impact.
For the ultimate pig insult, you need look no further than the divine porcine and a spot of blasphemy. Being a very religious nation, anything that insults religious figures is bound to cause fury. So adding Porca to your favorite god or character from the Bible will get you into no end of hot water if heard by the wrong ears. And us too, so we won’t be printing any of those insults here.
Luckily, there are plenty of safer ways to use pigs to make your language more colorful. Surprise and delight can be expressed with a coupling of pig and cow, with the phrase ‘porca vacca’ and an insult can be created by combining pig and skunk – ‘porca puzzola’.