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Italian Slang

So you've learned to speak Italian.  Including the all-important gestures.  Maybe a few proverbs, songs, and even a bit of Neapolitan.  But you want to know how to talk "cool"?  Here are some tips:
  • Troppo - literally "too much," but also used as "very".  You'll see women pinching kids' cheeks saying "troppo bello!"
  • Figo - "cool" (literally "fig")...careful, though, because figa means p***y
  • In bocca al lupo - "Good luck", literally "in the wolf's mouth," so it's a bit like telling an actor to "break a leg".  The proper response is "Crepi (il lupo)!" (to hell with the wolf, literally "may it die!").
  • Casino - not to be confused with casinò (a gambling casino), this version (with emphasis on the "i") literally means a "brothel" but figuratively means a "mess."  Particularly bad traffic due to an accident on the Tangenziale?  "Che casino!"
  • Facebook/SMS Slang - Deirdre Straughan's summary of Italian SMS Slang is a great introduction to abbreviations found commonly in SMS.  For example, if your Italian friend posts "xk?" on Facebook, it means "per che?"  Similarly, "+" means più (more) and "6" means sei (you are)
  • Boh - A statement of resignation, something like, "I don't know, and who can tell?"
  • Deirder Straughan also has a great guide to Italian slang (and cursewords, or parolacce!)
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