Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Strange tongues let loose

Strange tongues let loose
With rich language and expressive people, it should come as no surprise that italian is full of interesting sayings. What better way to pepper a conversation than drop in an italian expression here and there? Here are a few to get you in the mood.

Porca Miseria – ‘Misery is a pig’. Pigs have it tough in italian. Much in the way we’d say ‘god damn’, italians enjoy insulting our porcine friend to illustrate displeasure. “My glass is empty – Porca miseria.”
The stronger the insult, the more interesting the role of the pig.

Avere la Botte Piena e la Moglie Ubriaca – ‘to have the wine cask full, and the wife drunk’ is a quirky italian take on ‘the best of both worlds’.

in Bocca al Lupo – ‘into the wolf’s mouth’. Bizarrely this means ‘good luck’. Much in the same strange way that ‘break a leg’ does, which doesn’t seem lucky at all, until you hear the appropriate response: ‘Crepi il lupo’ (May the wolf die), implying that the wolf has bitten off more than it can chew and will surely choke.