Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

The devil makes pots and not lids

The devil makes pots and not lids
You’d think the Devil was a popular character in Italy, after all, he appears in many sayings and stories told throughout the country.

One such idiom is ‘Il diavolo fa le pentole e non i coperchi’, which literally means ‘the Devil makes pots, and not lids’. In a nutshell, it communicates the idea that against all wrongdoings in the world, lies, deceit and acts of malice, truth and justice will prevail. As the Devil’s pot of trouble bubbles away, the fact that it has no lid means sooner or later, its contents will either boil over or be seen by everyone, revealing themselves as they really are.

So if you know someone who is up to no good, or is hiding a dark secret, you might want to say to them ‘il diavolo fa le pentole e non i coperchi’. Just as a warning that sooner or later, they’ll be found out, so they should ‘fess up while they have the chance to redeem themselves!