Know Your Italian Idioms!

I applaud Italians for having created such colorful phrases.

Italian idioms, in my opinion, kick butt on English idioms. And, if you’re serious about going deeper into the Italian culture and participating more fully, you’ll want to start learning them. They’re plentiful and they’ll spice up your speaking skills and draw nods of appreciation from native speakers for having gone beyond the surface. Italian idiomatic expressions usually have English equivalents. But…

Don’t make the mistake of trying word-for-word English to Italian translations.

In most cases, they don’t make the transition literally. If you attempt to do so, Italians will probably look at you sideways with a puzzled brow. Side-by-side comparisons of English idioms and Italian idioms demonstrate that many have the same gist, but they’re just not the same. And, if there’s a contest between the languages for creativity in getting a point across, I cast my vote for the Italian idiomatic expressions.

I  tackle three Italian idioms in this week’s Italian Snippets

This will be the first of many Snippets devoted to Italian idioms. I’ve started with my favorites. I’m already putting them to good use (and proudly so). The big task ahead of me is becoming fluid in how I introduce them into conversations.

In this new YouTube video on my ItalyWise Channel, you’ll learn the Italian idiomatic expressions for their English counterparts:

To kill two birds with one stone.

To have your cake and eat it too.

Let’s quit talking bullsh#*t.

Have fun with these and prime yourself for more to come. As you learn and master these, you’ll be taking your command of speaking Italian to a new level!

Above all, have fun with these Italian idioms!

If you are like me, you’ll find yourself laughing as you keep learning this crucial aspect of speaking Italian and work your way into the culture more successfully.

Check out my other Italian Snippets

Topics include things like coffee protocol (it’s important!), describing an out-of-control situation,  and how to order something to go! Click here!

And, if you want a great overview the what and how of idiomatic expressions, whatever the language, check out this great online article from Grammar Revolution.

By |2019-11-11T17:39:25+01:00November 11th, 2019|Italian Snippets, Speaking Italian|8 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. @a_zicc November 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Ciao Jed it’s been a while living off the grid most of the time! I get so excited when I go for coffee at a café! WiFi Thank you for all of your words of wisdom… Very funny to see how words are twisted and in a different form if you don’t know what you’re doing with the language! A presto be well Anita

    • Jed November 21, 2019 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Ciao Anita! I’m so happy to hear from you. In my twice-weekly private Italian lessons, I’m learning even more. For example, “Alzare il gomito” (to raise one’s elbow, refers to a person who drinks a lot, ha!). More soon. Be well, Jed

  2. Thomas November 12, 2019 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Love when you share your language suggestions. May I suggest, please add the text of the words. I try to write them and have to keep replaying a video segment.
    My wife and I have a home in Toscana and greatly appreciate your sharing helpful cultural guidance.

    • Jed November 13, 2019 at 11:31 am - Reply

      I’m glad you are enjoying them. I’ll do my best to add text wherever possible to help clarify!

  3. Kevin November 12, 2019 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Nicely done Jed…really enjoy these snippets. I like that they are a perfect length where I can review repeatedly and as necessary. For me a bit more than average! As we head into this holiday season I already plan to review last years video where you explain holiday greetings! Tanti Aguri!

    • Jed November 13, 2019 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Hi Kevin, I’m veering towards shorter and more digestible these days! Yep, re-acquaint yourself with holiday greetings!

  4. Ricky Gibbons November 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Super video blog – going to use the fried air today = love it! Thanks!

    • Jed November 13, 2019 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Thanks! The fried air will come in handy!

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