Italian Expressions used in everyday life – 1 part

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In this post, we will show you some basic Italian expressions that are commonly used in everyday life in Italy.

Because it is culturally appropriate to use certain phrases or words in some situations, Italian expressions enhance every conversation.

If you understand Italian culture, you are already halfway to fluency.

Learn more about Italian Expressions used in everyday life – 1 part.

Italian Expressions used in everyday life - 1 part

Fare due passi

Italian Expressions used in everyday life - 1 part

to go for a walk, lit. to take two steps

In everyday conversation, “fare due passi” is an idiom commonly used to suggest taking a short walk or stroll, often for leisure, relaxation, or to clear one’s mind.

When someone says, “Andiamo a fare due passi,” it implies an invitation or suggestion to go for a brief walk, usually in a nearby area. It can be a way to take a break, enjoy some fresh air, or engage in casual conversation while moving. This expression reflects the Italian lifestyle’s emphasis on enjoying the outdoors and the simple pleasures of life. Overall, “fare due passi” conveys the idea of taking a short and refreshing walk, both physically and metaphorically.

Example: Vado a fare due passi al parco (I’m going for a walk in the park)

Dare uno strappo/un passaggio

to give a ride, lit. to give a rip/a passage

The expressions “dare uno strappo” or “dare un passaggio” in Italian both convey the idea of giving someone a ride or lift in English.

  • “Dare uno strappo”: Translates to “give a pull” or “give a tug.” In the context of transportation, it’s often used when someone offers to give another person a lift, usually by car or motorcycle.
  • “Dare un passaggio”: Translates to “give a ride” or “give a lift.” This phrase is commonly used when someone offers transportation to another person, allowing them to travel together for a part of the journey.

In both cases, these expressions imply a friendly and informal gesture of providing someone with transportation, and they are commonly used in everyday conversations when discussing travel plans or when someone needs a ride.

Example: Vuoi uno strappo fino alla stazione? (Do you want a ride to the station?)

Pecora nera/mela marcia

black sheep, lit. rotten apple

Mio fratello è la pecora nera della famiglia. (My brother is the black sheep of the family.)

Non capire un’acca/un tubo

to not understand a thing, lit. to not understand an “H”/a tube

Non hai capito un tubo di quello che ti ho detto! (You did not understand a thing of what I told you!)

Fare Schifo

Italian Expressions used in everyday life - 1 part

disgust, disgusting, repugnance

The expression “fare schifo” in Italian is an idiomatic expression that translates to “to disgust” or “to be disgusted” in English. It is commonly used to express a strong feeling of dislike, repulsion, or aversion towards something or someone.

For example, if someone says, “Questo cibo fa schifo,” it means “This food is disgusting.” Or if someone exclaims, “Mi fa schifo!” it expresses a personal feeling of being disgusted or repulsed by something. Another common expression is “che schifo!“.

It’s an informal expression used in casual conversations to convey a strong negative reaction or distaste. Keep in mind that it’s colloquial, so it’s advisable to use it in appropriate contexts and with people who are familiar with the informality of the expression.

Example: Questa carne non mi piace…fa schifo!! (I don’t like this meat … it’s disgusting !!

Non farmi arrabbiare!

Don’t get me mad!

Comincia a studiare e non farmi arrabbiare! (Start studying and don’t get me mad!)

Fatti i fatti tuoi!

Mind your own business!

Non voglio dirti niente, fatti i fatti tuoi! (I don’t want to tell you anything, mind your own business!)

Non vali una lira!

You’re not worth spit / not worth a dime

Non sei stato capace di risolvere questo problema, non vali una lira! (You have not been able to solve this problem, you are not worth a dime!)


damn, darn

Mannaggia, oggi piove e non posso andare al mare. (Damn, it’s raining today and I can’t go to the beach.)

Mannaggia a te!

Damn you!

Mannaggia a te, hai rovinato tutto! (Damn you, you ruined everything!)


You’re a disgrace/miserable/wretch

Sei un disgraziato! Mi hai rovinato la giornata!!! (You are a wretch! You ruined my day !!!)


get lost/go away/get (the hell) out of here

Vattene da qui, non ti posso più sopportare! (Get out of here, I can’t stand you anymore!)

Stai zitto!

Keep your mouth shut/shut up

Stai zitto e fai quello che ti ho detto! (Shut up and do what I told you!)

Va’ all’inferno!

Go to Hell! (The Horns)

Va’ al diavolo

The hell with you!

Sono al verde!

I’m broke!

Non ho più un lavoro e quindi sono al verde. (I no longer have a job and therefore I’m broke.)


rogue, rascal

Quella persona si comporta malissimo … è proprio un mascalzone!!! (That person behaves very badly … he is a real rascal !!!)

Di brutto


Questo ragazzo mi piace di brutto! (I like this guy badly!)

Da urlo

sexily, sexy, lit. from scream

Quella ragazza ha un fisico da urlo! (That girl has a sexily body!)

Essere la fine del mondo

to be terrific, lit. to be the end of the world

Mi piaci tantissimo, sei la fine del mondo! (I love you, you are terrific!)

Pieno zeppo (di qualcosa)

crammed (full)

Questa valigia è piena zeppa di cose inutili. (This suitcase is crammed full of useless things.)

Quattro gatti

a few people, lit. four cats

Ieri sono andata alla festa della mia amica ma c’erano quattro gatti. (Yesterday I went to my friend’s party but there were a few people.)

Non esserci anima viva

to not be a living soul

Di notte, per le strade della mia città, non c’è anima viva. (At night, on the streets of my city, there is not a living soul.)

Neanche per sogno

no way, lit. not even in a dream

-Vorresti andare via da Roma? – Neanche per sogno! (Would you like to leave Rome? – No way!)

Pelle d’oca

goosebumps, lit. goose skin

Ho visto quel film d’orrore e mi è venuta la pelle d’oca. (I saw that horror movie and I got goosebumps.)


to whine; from piangere, to cry

Questo bambino piagnucola sempre!! (This child always whines !!)

Essere al settimo cielo

to be in seventh heaven/over the moon

Finalmente il mio amore mi ha scritto, sono al settimo cielo!! (Finally my love has written to me, I’m in seventh heaven !!)

Essere giù di corda

to be down in the dumps, lit. to be down in the rope (boxing term)

Ho lavorato molto ma guadagnato poco, sono giù di corda. (I worked hard but earned little, they are down in the dumps.)

Essere su di giri

to be excited/in a good mood / on a high, wired, lit. to be up in the turns

Sono su di giri perché ho finalmente comprato la macchina nuova. (I’m excited because I finally bought the new car.)

Che figata!

cool; from figa, pussy

Ho comprato il biglietto per andare a Londra la prossima settimana. – Che figata!!! (I bought a ticket to go to London next week. – Cool!!!)

Rottura di scatole/palle (Rude)

pain in the neck/pain in the ass, lit. tin breaker/ball breaker

Quella persona è una rottura di scatole!!! (That person is a pain in the ass !!!)

Perdere le staffe

to freak out, to lose the temper

Oggi all’ufficio postale la coda era lunghissima mi sono arrabbiato e ho perso le staffe. (Today at the post office the queue was very long, I got angry and lost my temper.)


Good heavens!/Wow!

-Sai che quest’anno mi sposo? – Caspita! (-Do you know that this year I’m getting married? – Wow!)


damn/wow!, lit. kill!

Il mio ragazzo mi ha regalato questo anello d’oro! – Ammazza che bello! (My boyfriend gave me this gold ring! – Damn how nice!)

Legarsi qualcosa al dito

To not forget something, nor forgive offence lit. to tie something to the finger

Questa non la dimenticherò, me la legherò al dito! (I will not forget this one, I won’t forget!)

Avere i nervi a fior di pelle

be highly strung/be really nervous – lit. to have the nerves just under the skin

Oggi è una giornata difficile, ho i nervi a fior di pelle. (Today is a difficult day, I’m really nervous.)

Avere un diavolo per capello

to be very upset, be enraged, see red -lit. to have a devil for hair

Il mio collega mi ha fatto arrabbiare, ho un diavolo per capello! My colleague made me angry, I am very upset!

Rimanere a bocca aperta

to be flabbergasted, stuck for words, speechless-lit. to stay open-mouthed

Non mi aspettavo questa notizia, sono rimasto a bocca aperta. (I did not expect this news, I was speechless.)

Spremersi le meningi

to rack one’s brain, lit. to squeeze one’s brain

Non riesco a risolvere il problema anche se mi sto spremendo le meningi da due ore. (I can’t solve the problem even though I’ve been racking my brains for two hours.)


brainteaser, worry, headache, lit. that itches the head

Ho un grattacapo da risolvere. (I have a brainteaser to solve.)


farce, joke ; from buffone, buffoon

Questo film è una buffonata! (This movie is a joke!)

Farsi il mazzo (rude)

to work one’s tail/butt off/to bust one’s ass doing sth/work one’s ass off to work very hard, lit. to make oneself a cluster

Ho lavorato tutta l’estate, mi sono fatto il mazzo!! I worked all summer, I worked vey hard !!

Gettare la spugna

to throw in the towel, lit. to throw the sponge

Basta, non riesco a capire come risolvere questo problema, getto la spugna!! (Enough, I can’t figure out how to solve this problem, throw in the towel !!)

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Italian Expressions Used in Everyday Life – Second Part

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