Oddio! Invoking the Divine in Italian.

THIS is one of the most often used phrases when speaking Italian.

You may adhere to the “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.” commandment. If so, you can merely take these expressions as “good to know” when visiting or living in Italy. You’ll hear it a LOT and in a variety of situations. Being a heavily Catholic country, religion is woven deeply into the culture and the language. Even regular churchgoers use this phrase.

“Oh God!” in Italian can be tailored in tone and emphasis.

In the Italian Snippet video below you’ll learn how. You can mutter it under your breath. You can exclaim it when something unexpected strikes (usually something not so good). Pick your style. Just don’t go crazy and exaggerate with these Italian expressions because you’ll stand out like an unenlightened foreigner. If there’s anything that can make native speakers cringe, it’s hearing over-the-top applications of their language—usually due to misguided reenactments of too many Hollywood Italian portrayals.

But, be forewarned. A simple, misplaced emphasis can land you saying something entirely different.

As you’ll hear when you watch this Italian Snippet, saying you hate something, “L’Odio,”  may be in a completely different spectrum of intent, but you could find yourself talking about God unintentionally, or vice versa. Take time to learn these subtle differences and to practice in the privacy of your home or in the sanctuary of friends!


If you’ve enjoyed this Italian Snippet…

Check out my others Snippets. I’m endeavoring to build out an extensive video library that addresses these little gems of speaking Italian and can assist you in integrating into the culture more easily.

By |2019-04-16T16:48:41+02:00April 16th, 2019|Italian Snippets|5 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Tammy April 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Love this. Laughed hysterically at :17 at the way you said “God”. Also noticed you said “queue” instead of “line”….stai diventando italiano!!!! Grazie ancora, sempre un piacere imparare le cose diverse della vita italiana. Un’abbraccio a voi!

    • Jed May 4, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      HI Tammy, I don’t know when I began to prefer “queue” over “line.” Maybe it comes from living in Europe for six years now. I like how “line” is “coda” in Italian, also the word for “tail,” I think!

  2. Kevin April 18, 2019 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Enjoying your Snippets Jed! I tend to struggle when it comes to retention but find your advice both entertaining and useful as it seems to actually stick! 🙂

    • Jed April 23, 2019 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Mission accomplished! Like Venetian cicchetti, these things are best consumed and digested in small bites!

  3. Sue April 17, 2019 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Jed, loved this snippet! Very valuable to know the different pronunciations. Thank you!

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