Here we go again, it’s time for a new list of food-related Italian sayings!
As I told you in my last post, the list of Italian idiomatic phrases that have something to do with food was too long to make it into just one post. Therefore, I decided to split it into two, in order to make it more readable and enjoyable.
Moreover, I also decided to create a pdf file for you to keep – so that you’ll have it readily available for future reference. I have prepared a pdf file with all the Italian idiomatic phrases you’ll find in this post. You can find it in Your Italian Toolbox, a section of Instantly Italy where you’ll find Italian learning materials. You can get access to it by subscribing here.
And now it’s time to learn some more Italian idiomatic expressions that have to do with food.
Capire rave per fave.
Literal meaning: to understand turnips for fava beans
Actual meaning: to misunderstand, not to understand properly
Mi ha raccontato la rava e la fava.
Literal meaning: he told me the turnip and the fava bean
Actual meaning: he told me everything, more than I wanted to know, with a lot of unnecessary details
Cavare il sangue da una rapa.
Literal meaning: to take out blood out of a turnip
Actual meaning: to obtain something impossible
Essere una testa di rapa.
Literal meaning: to be a turnip head
Actual meaning: someone who is dull
Finire a tarallucci e vino.
Literal meaning: to end in tarallucci and wine
Actual meaning: to end a fight or a discussion with a positive attitude
Non essere né carne né pesce.
Literal meaning: to be neither meat nor fish
Actual meaning: something or someone that has no clear or defined features
Essere la ciliegina sulla torta.
Literal meaning: to be the cherry on the pie
Actual meaning: the final touch, the thing that makes something perfect
Fare una frittata.
Literal meaning: to make an omelet
Actual meaning: to make a mess, to cause a problem
Ci sta come il cacio sui maccheroni!
Literal meaning: it’s like cacio cheese on maccheroni pasta
Actual meaning: a perfect match, something that is just perfect for something else
Essere dolce come il miele.
Literal meaning: to be as sweet as honey
Actual meaning: to be really sweet
Non è mica pizza e fichi!
Literal meaning: it’s not pizza and figs!
Actual meaning: referred to something serious, important, that has value
Che pizza che sei!
Literal meaning: what a pizza you are!
Actual meaning: what a bore you are!
Andare liscio come l’olio.
Literal meaning: to go as smooth as oil
Actual meaning: to go very well, with no hitches
Andare in brodo di giuggiole.
Literal meaning: to go in jujube broth
Actual meaning: to be really happy and excited, to be over the moon with joy
Avere una faccia da pesce bollito.
Literal meaning: to have a face like boiled fish
Actual meaning: someone who is completely inexpressive
Da un pero non nasce un melo.
Literal meaning: a pear tree can’t generate an apple tree
Actual meaning: people are usually similar to their parents
Una mela non cade lontana dall’albero.
Literal meaning: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
Actual meaning: people are usually similar to their parents (same as the one above)
Cascare dal pero.
Literal meaning: to fall from the pear tree
Actual meaning: when you suddenly realize that reality is different from what you thought
Piangere sul latte versato.
Literal meaning: to cry over spilled milk
Actual meaning: to grieve over mistakes that cannot be fixed
È una bella patata bollente!
Literal meaning: it is a very hot potato!
Actual meaning: it is big problem, something difficult to be solved
Far venire il latte alle ginocchia.
Literal meaning: to cause milk on knees
Actual meaning: to be boring, to be irritating
Venire spremuto come un limone.
Literal meaning: to be squeezed as a lemon
Actual meaning: to be exploited
Avere le fette di prosciutto sugli occhi.
Literal meaning: to have slices of ham on the eyes
Actual meaning: not to see obvious things, not to be very perceptive
Essere stipati come sardine.
Literal meaning: to be squashed as sardines
Actual meaning: to be in a very crowded place
È una minestra riscaldata.
Literal meaning: it’s a reheated soup
Actual meaning: usually referred to relationships with an ex-partner, conveying the meaning that a relationship with someone whom you have already been with can’t work very well
I hope you enjoyed this list of Italian sayings. If you missed the first part of the post, you’ll find it here.
I have prepared a pdf file with all the Italian idiomatic phrases you’ll find in this post. You can find it in Your Italian Toolbox, a section of Instantly Italy where you’ll find Italian learning materials. You can get access to it by subscribing here.
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Chiacchieriamo is a Skype chat which helps you practice and improve your Italian with a native speaker. If you want to give it a try, you can request a 30-minute free chat, so that we can meet each other and see if you like the service.