Sayings and things….


Italian, like any other language, has some pretty interesting sayings to explain many of life’s experiences.  Recently, my husband found a book which listed some of these.   Most of these sayings were new to me, but some were familiar because I remember my parents saying them. What’s interesting to realize is that different parts of Italy have their own sayings or ones that they use frequently – I guess much like our American versus British versus Australian sayings – each one has little quips that are particular to their own region! 

Here were some of my favorites:

1.  Le bugie hanno le gambe corte = lies have short legs! (I used to get this all the time when I was a little girl!!)

2.  Occio il tram = watch out for the tram = watch out!  (this is Lombardian dialect and who knows if I spelled it correctly!!!)  I used to get this all the time, too!

3.  Un caval donato non si guarda in boca = don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

4.  Il contadino non puo sapere quant’e buono il formaggio con le pere = Don’t let the peasant know how good cheese is with pears!  I don’t really get this one, but I hear it alot.  Why can’t the peasant know?  Perhaps then he would keep it all to himself?

5.  Can che abbaia non morde = the dog that barks does not bite!

6.  A tavola non s’invecchia = you don’t get old at the table! 

7.  Amici e vini sono meglio vecchi = Friends and wine are better old!

There are lots more, and as they come to me, I will post some more 🙂  But in the meantime, if you hear any of these, you will know what they mean. 

Forewarned is forearmed….hmmm, I wonder how they say that one in Italian?

8 responses »

  1. Thanks for those. I have written them down to help me remember them.
    I like cervello di marmelata and testa di gallina, which I often hear from my friend when she is driving.

    • Ha! Ha! Those are wonderful!!! “Cervello di marmelata” (jelly brain) and “tesa di gallina” (chicken head) are the perfect things to say while driving 🙂 I had not heard those terms before, but I like them. I think I will start saying them, too. I have heard some other, much more explicit, things while driving in Italy which I cannot repeat here 😉
      Thanks for visiting and nice to meet you!!!

  2. So nice to hear from you…How fun to read these Italian “sayings”. They have a life of their own, don’t they. My mother is from Texas and those Texans have a huge list of their own sayings that I learned as a child. Of course, I adopted many of them and have passed them along to my kids. It’s fun to see the universal theme in some of them. Hope you found some lavender goodies at TJ’s!


  3. Non ne sono sicuro, ma “Forewarned is forearmed” credo si possa tradurre con “uomo avvisato mezzo salvato”.
    Dalle mie parti si usa spesso dire, ma non so quanto sia diffuso come detto, che “chi ha i denti non ha il pane, e chi ha il pane non ha i denti”; ho sentito, e uso alla bisogna, anche “piangere come una vite tagliata”

    ps: “marmellata” vuole due “l” 🙂

    • Si, penso che si dice proprio cosi!!! E se non e giusto, non importa perche ha un bel suono nonostante 🙂 Grazie della correzzione – ho sempre problemi con i consonanti doppi!!! E sempre un indovino per me (se no che guardo al dizionario e usualmente no voglio perdere per farlo!) A presto!

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