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Common Italian Slang Terms and Meanings

Renuka Savant Mar 16, 2020
The Italian language is as colorful as the natives who speak it, especially when it comes to informal usage. Here is a list of Italian slang words and phrases, along with their meaning.
"Italians love emotional people. If you're reserved you either have something to hide or you're just plain stupid."
―Joe Novella
Italians are known to wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are quite emotional, and also quite vociferous about it at the same time. Passion ranks high in Italy―be it about religion, fashion, food, or football, and not necessarily in that order.
They say that you can render an Italian speechless if you tie up his hands. It kind of gives us an idea about how physically expressive these people can be. And as far as the Italian language is concerned―well, it does rise to the occasion and compliment their feisty gestures as well.
Learning Italian from scratch can be a time-consuming process. Therefore, in addition to 'Ciao', 'Grazie', and 'Arrivederci', we give you a few Italian slang words and phrases to help you blend in.

Common Italian Slang

  • Allocco (allo-coh) - a stupid person
  • Alzare il gomito (al-zare il go-mee-toh) - to drink heavily
  • Balena (ba-lay-na) - a fat woman
  • Boccalone (boh-cah-lon) - gossip monger
  • Caspita! (ca-spee-tah) - gosh!
  • Colpo di fulmine (col-poh dee ful-mee-ne) - love at first sight
  • Donnaiolo (do-naii-olo) - womanizer
  • Guastafesta (gu-asta-fes-tah) - party pooper
  • Mamma mia! (ma-mma mee-ah) - oh my!
  • Nuotare nell'oro (nu-oh-ta-reh nell-or-oh) - to be rolling in money
  • Oh mio Dio! (oh mee-yo dee-oh) - oh my god!
  • Puzzare da fare schifo (pu-tzar-reh dah far ski-foh) - to stink to high heaven
  • Roba da matti (ro-bah da mah-tee) - crazy
  • Saccente (sa-shen-teh) - a know-it-all
  • Tutto sale e pepe (tyu-toh sal eh peh-pe) - to be lively and cheerful
  • Uggioso (ooh-gio-soh) - a boring person

Frequently-used Italian Exclamations

  • Che figata! (ke-fi-ga-ta) - Awesome!
  • Dai! (da-yee) - Come on!/Please!
  • Meno male! (me-noh ma-leh) - Not bad/It's a relief
  • Magari! (ma-gah-ree) - I hope/I wish
  • Basta! (baz-tah) - Enough!/Stop it!
  • Figurati! (fi-guh-ra-tee) - It's nothing!
  • Mizzica! (mi-tzhi-ka) - Holy cow!
  • Zitto! (zi-tt-oh) - Shut up!
So the next time you're in Rome, do as the Romans do. And don't forget to speak Italian as the Italians do!