Italian expressions

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mondo1When learning a language, it is always fun to learn the idiomatic expressions. Not everything translates literally. For example, “It’s a small world” in Italian can be translated as “È un mondo piccolo”, but it can be “Tutto il mondo è paese” too !(lit. All the world is a country). Here are a few expressions in Italian. Can you figure out their English versions?

1. Non vedo l’ora (I don’t see the hour)
2. Lontano dagli occhi, Lontano dal cuore (far from the eyes, far from the heart)
3. Acqua in bocca (water in the mouth)
4. Sputare nel piatto dove si mangia (to spit on the plate where one eats)
5. A ogni morte di Papa (at every death of the Pope)
6. Prendere due piccioni con una fava (to take two pigeons with one bean)

1. I can’t wait
2. Out of sight, out of mind
3. Mum’s the word
4. To bite the hand that feeds
5. Once in a blue moon
6. To kill two birds with one stone

Do you have any Italian expressions you would like to share? Send us the expression in Italian, its literal translation, and the English equivalent (if you know them!). Thanks for helping us expand our list.


  1. filippo licari says:

    piace a me piace al mio amore piace a tutti.

    ogni lasciata e perduta.

  2. Diane H. says:

    Here are some food-related expressions:

    1. Avere le mani in pasta (To have one hands in pasta) = to be well-connected; know how to pull strings.
    2. Avere il prosciutto sugli occhi (To have ham over one’s eyes) = to be unable to see the truth.
    3. Avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca (To have the bottle full and the wife drunk) = to have your cake and eat it too.

    This is fun!

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