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From past experience I’ve learned that our blogs are occasionally read by people of a particularly sensitive disposition regarding the use of ‘rude’ words, and swearing.
Hence if you, dear reader, are of such a disposition … I suggest that you stop right HERE.
… and the rest of you can read on, buon divertimento!
We were recently asked about an expression that we used in our article Buying Clothes in Italy: “avere culo”. Well, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across this in your grammar books or Italian classes. But don’t worry, it will be my very great pleasure to help you out with this and other such expressions!
Here is a list of some very common Italian expressions that make reference to certain unmentionable parts of the human anatomy:
avere culo = to be lucky, (literally: to have bum/arse) e.g.: ho avuto culo ad ottenere questo biglietto per il concerto = I was lucky to get hold of this ticket for the concert
che culo! = what luck! e.g. (literally: what bum/arse) e.g.: ecco un posto per la macchina, che culo! = here’s a parking place for the car, what luck!
avere sfiga = to be unlucky (literally: to be without cunt, i.e. without a woman) e.g.: Giorgio ha avuto la sfiga di comprare una macchina difettosa = Giorgio was had the bad luck of buying a faulty car
che sfiga! = what bad luck! (literally: what lack of cunt!) è caduto all’ultimo momento, che sfiga! = he fell at the last moment, what bad luck!
essere sfigato = to be unlucky, e.g.: quel Paolo è uno sfigato = that Paolo is an unlucky one
che palle! = how boring! (literally: what balls!) e.g.: ma che palle, sta piovendo di nuovo = oh what a bore, it’s raining again
far girare le palle = to annoy/to piss off (literally: to make the balls/testicles spin) e.g.: piantala di lamentarti, mi stai facendo girare le palle! = stop moaning, you’re annoying me! (literally: making my balls spin)
mi girano le palle! = I am/I get annoyed/pissed off! (literally: my balls are spinning) e.g.: quando sento i politici mi girano le palle! = when I hear politicians I get pissed off!
stare sulle palle a qualcuno = to get on someone’s nerves (literally: to be on someone’s balls) e.g.: basta chiacchiere, mi stai sulle palle! = enough chattering, you’re getting on my nerves!
Okay, you’ve been very brave so far, so I think you deserve a small musical interlude. Here’s the great Gigi Proietti with a lovely romantic song entitled ‘Non Mi Rompe Er Ca’
rompere il cazzo/le palle/i coglioni a qualcuno, in Roman dialect: ‘rompere er ca‘= to really piss someone off (literally: to break someone’s prick/balls) e.g. la Giulia mi ha rotto il cazzo con il suo solito discorso palloso = Giulia really pissed me off with her usual boring discussion
una rottura di palle/cazzo = a bloody annoying thing (literally: a breaking of balls/prick) e.g.: oggi non funziona di nuovo l’internet, ma che rottura di palle! = the internet isn’t working again today, how bloody annoying!
incazzarsi = to get pissed off, e.g.: Bruno è un tipo che si incazza facilmente = Bruno is a type who gets pissed off easily
Now, my dear intrepid readers and student of ‘genuine’ Italian, seeing as this is a rather naughty blog, and only the most hardy of students will have read this far, let’s finish with a naughty little anecdote from Serena. This is based on the usually innocuous expression, dormire tra due guanciali = to sleep easy (literally: to sleep between two pillows).
Quando ero all’università c’era una ragazza che aveva due seni veramente, ma veramente grandi. Un giorno mentre eravamo in biblioteca è entrata questa ragazza ‘superdotata’ e ho sentito il ragazzo seduto vicino a me dire con un sospiro: “Questo sì che vuol dire dormire fra due guanciali!”
When I was at university there was a girl who had really really big breasts. One day when we were in the library this ‘super-endowed’ girl came in, and I heard the lad sitting near me say with a sigh: “Now, that’s the real meaning of to sleep between two pillows!”
Don’t forget to practice your newly acquired expressions on your next visit to Il Bel Paese. For example you could try: Mamma mia, ‘sto cazzo di coda per visitare il Davide di Michelangelo mi ha rotto i coglioni!