Italian Language Blog

Italian Slang and Expressions Posted by on Nov 20, 2020 in Italian Language

Lo slang italiano


Oggi analizzeremo lo slang italiano, today we will analyze some Italian slang. If you want to blend in and sound like a local, you will have to use some of the more informal ‘lingo’ or linguaggio informale. The Italian you may have learned in a textbook or through certain language classes will be perfect for everyday tourist activities such as dining out, shopping, cultural actives, ecc… but you are going to hear very different vocabulary between friends and on the street.

Of course, these words and expressions are always changing and passare di moda, going out of fashion, just like in English. The vocabulary you hear can even change drastically between generazioni, as I am sure you have noticed! (I remember learning ‘on fleek’ from my students a few years ago… I prefer to say something is ‘on point’ instead, but it’s always fun to learn new slang words)

Impariamo lo slang italiano, il linguaggio dei giovani. Let’s learn some Italian slang, the language of the youth (but not just them…):

  1. Mollare qualcuno – to dump someone (literally to release, to let go)
  2. Guastafeste – party-pooper
  3. Che figata! or Che figo! – How cool! How awesome!
  4. Figurati – don’t worry about it, it’s nothing
  5. Limonare – to make out (literally ‘to lemon’)
  6. Gufare – to jinx (literally to ‘hoot’ as an owl)
  7. Che schifo! – How disgusting! That’s gross!
  8. Che barba! – How boring! (literally ‘what a beard’)
  9. Che palle! – What a pain! (literally ‘what balls’)
  10. Incazzarsi – to get pissed off
  11. Leccaculo – a kiss-ass
  12. Mannaggia – darn, dang
  13. Che sfiga! – What bad luck!
  14. Sfigato – dorky, uncool, loser
  15. Boia – rotten, god-awful (Che freddo boia! – What god-awful cold weather!)
  16. Vattene! – Get lost!
  17. Mi fa cagare – it sucks, it’s awful (literally ‘it makes me poop’)
  18. Una fregatura – a rip-off
  19. Filare – to run, to ‘jet’ (Dobbiamo filare – we have to jet!)
  20. Beccarsi – to see one another (literally it means to peck at food)
  21. Friendzonare – to be in the ‘friend-zone’ (derived from English, ovviamente!)
  22. Inciucio – a relationship, affair (literally a scam)
  23. Fare after – to attend an ‘after hours party’
  24. Coatto – slang of grezzo, someone who is unrefined and volgare
  25. Botto – slang of un sacco, a lot (ho mangiato un botto!)

Allora, che ne pensate? Avete mai sentito queste parole usate? What do you think? Have you ever heard these words used?

Write down some more slang words you have heard below, there are un botto! Ci becchiamo la prossima settimana! We’ll see each other next week!


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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Catherine F Mitchell:

    Some of these comments should definitely not be made in polite company! I wouldn’t say them in English and I certainly wouldn’t teach them to an unknowing Italian speaker! It’s o.k. to teach them with caveats. Would you like someone making the comment “che cazzo”?

    • Bridgette:

      @Catherine F Mitchell As I said as my caveat – these are words you’ll hear between friends and things you’ll hear on the street. I did not write the expression “che cazzo.” Italians swear a lot though, it’s a part of their culture, it isn’t particularly offensive between adult friends. Feel free not to use these expressions, though.

  2. Rosanna McFarlin:

    tante espressioni non le ho mai sentite. Hai ragione di dire che i linguaggi cambiano col tempo. E’ sempre interessante almeno leggerli .

  3. Phil Page:

    An interesting lesson and quite a few I didn’t know here. I take it ‘Mannaggia’ means the same as ‘Accidenti’ and ‘limonare’ is similar to ‘pomiciare’.
    Some of my slang words would be:
    cesso (loo or bog) neanche per idea! (no way!)
    ubriaco fradicio (blind drunk)

  4. Andrea Walker:

    Buondi, Bridgette! Sono anche un’italofona e una francofona (Americana). Devo visitare il suo website su poliglotismo! Grazie per queste frasi interessanti e utili. So ne alcune, ma il maggiore sono nuove per me. Tre frasi di slang che so sono “chi se ne frega?” (Who gives a damn?) e “da schifo” (molto male), e “Che sbadata!” (What an airhead!)

  5. Giovanni:

    Ma figurati! = It’ nothing, don’t worr!
    Figurati che non mi ha neanche risposto=Can you believe that he didn’t even answer to me?

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