Thursday, 3 April 2008

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Italian Proverbs

Thirteen Italian Proverbs

If nothing else, one must concede that the Italians are a colorful group when it comes to expressing themselves. Today, I give you thirteen of their most vivid proverbs.

1) A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio.
English translation: Give them a finger and they'll take the arm.
Idiomatic meaning: Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

2) A rubar poco si va in galera, a rubar tanto si fa cariera.
English translation: Steal a little, go to jail; steal a lot, make a career of it.

3) Bacco, tabacco e Venere riducono l'uomo in cenere.
English translation: Wine, women, and tobacco reduces one to ashes.

4) Chi ben comincia è a metà dell'opera.
English translation: A good start is half the battle.

5) Chi fa da sé, fa per tre.
English translation: He who works by himself does the work of three (people).
Idiomatic meaning: Do it yourself if you want it done right.

6) Chi fa falla, e chi non fa sfarfalla.
English translation: Those who act make mistakes; and those who do nothing really blunder.

7) Del male non fare e paura non avere.
English translation: Do no evil and have no fear.

8) Eppur, si muove!
English translation: Nevertheless, it moves. (
Threatened by the Inquisition in his old age, Galileo publicly renounced his belief that the Earth moves around the Sun, but according to legend, whispered, "Nevertheless, it moves.")

9) Fidarsi è bene, non fidarsi è meglio.
English translation: To trust is good, not to trust is better.

10) Gli estremi si toccano.
English translation: Extremes meet.

11) Le bugie hanno le gambe corte.
English translation: Lies have short legs.
(My husband was told this by his mother when he was caught telling a lie involving the guilt of his baby sister in breaking something. He felt so guilty for having tried to place the blame on her, he hasn't told a lie, since.)

12) Il riso abbonda in bocca degli sciocchi.
English translation: Laughter is abundant in the mouth of fools.

13) In bocca al lupo.
English translation: Into the mouth of a wolf.
Idiomatic meaning: Break a leg!

And, in keeping with the fine Italian traditions of beauty in all things... Well, just scroll down. ;)

He's back again! :)

Constantino Vitagliano, Italian TV "Personality"

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Shelley Munro said...

I love the Lies have short legs one, and as always, the extra treat at the bottom is very nice. ;)

Irishcoda said...

I love the TTs where I learn something and I enjoyed reading the proverbs with translations! The eye candy is very nice too.

shoshana said...

Love the proverbs...I'll bookmark you.

and the bonus naked guy? Just the thing before sleep!

Gina Ardito said...

I don't know which affected me more; the proverbs or the treat at the end. Thanks for an awe-inspiring morning moment!

Morgan St. John said...

Ooo! 2 and 5! Those are really fun. I feel that way in my kitchen sometimes... too many hands!! lol

Adelle said...

I love learning things in other languages. Thanks for the eyecandy.
Happy T13!

Tempest Knight said...

OMG! These are great! Hehehe! I remember my grandma saying some of these.

Tara S Nichols said...

What a wonderful wise culture they have. I love number one. Made me think twice about flipping the bird.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Wow. I do not know how you get anything done with all those hot men around!

I love your sayings! They are very fun!

Alice Audrey said...

I would not get the idiomatic meaning of a lot of these without help. It is certainly a different way of thinking.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Those were awesome!! And tell that boy to move his hands. LOL.

Jennifer Bianco said...

I love #13. And of course the man candy is an added bonus. :) Great list!

Kaige said...

Neat list, MsMenozzi! Great list of proverbs. I love seeing them from other languages.

I've got birthday cake at my place today, stop by and have a piece.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Great thought out and informative list. Oh and Constantino - what a bonus!

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

These are great!!
And WOW-that guy is gorgeous!
Where do you get all this great eye candy?

Paige Tyler said...

I admit, I came for the eye candy! LOL! Great post!


My TT is at

Robin L. Rotham said...

LOL! Those are great. I especially like number 1 -- boy, you really don't want to flip anyone off in Italy, do you?

Oh, that's give them a finger, not the finger... :D My bad.

angeleque said...

I love the list. And love Thursday 13 when I learn something. Wonderful eye candy.

Unhinged said...

Shee. I'm more hairy than he is.

I'm terrible with languages, but I liked reading the English version...

Italian men ARE sexay.

Gwen Mitchell said...

I love the "Nevertheless, it moves." LOL

And it's interesting how so many proverbs cross language barriers. They all teach the same thing, in different ways. Thanks for sharing.