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!)