Florentine typical expressions (part 5)

I selected another set of florentine typical expressions, some of this are somehow popular in other parts of Italy too. Be like a florentine! :-)

1) a UFO, it is debated, but it seems to be derived from the acronym A.U.F. (ad usum fabricae), an inscription written on materials intended to be used for the construction of the Duomo, which were tax free. Quanto costa questo? Gl’è a ufo! (How much is this? It’s free!).

2) alla carlona, it could be translated “big Carla’s way”. It is used to indicate something that is done unmannerly. Doveva sistemare la sua camera, ma ha fatto tutto alla carlona! (He had to put order in his room, but he made a mess!).

3) a i’ bacio, it literally means at the kiss. It is used to denote something that is done in a very proper way, or that fits perfectly. Mi sono comprato gli occhiali da sole nuovi, mi stanno a i’ bacio! (I bought my new sunglasses, they fit perfectly!).

4) i’ che ci va ci vòle, it means what it has to go, it’s needed. It is used to indicate something that is (strictly) required for a certain thing. Ovviamente va messo l’olio nella minestra, i’ che ci va ci vole! (Obviously you have to put the olive oil in the soup, it is needed!).

5) attaccare bottone, it means to sew a button. It is used to indicate a person who starts a very long conversation that is difficult to escape from. Ho incontrato il tuo amico, mi ha attaccato un bottone di mezz’ora! (I met your friend, he sewed me a half-hour button!). It is also used to indicate when a person tries to start a conversation. Guarda, sta cercando di attaccare bottone con lei! (Look, he’s trying to sew a button with her!).

6) aver bevuto l’acqua del Porcellino, it means to have drunk the water from the Porcellino, that is to be a genuine florentine.

7) avere il prosciutto/salame sugli occhi, it means to have the ham/salami on the eyes. It is used to indicate a person who doesn’t see the evidence of a situation/thing. Guarda lì, non lo vedi? Hai proprio il prosciutto sugli occhi! (Look there, don’t you see it? You really have the ham on your eyes!).

8) cercare co’ i’ lanternino, it means to look for with a little lantern. It is used to indicate a person who got into trouble doing all by himself/herself. Guarda cosa ha fatto! Se l’è andata a cercare co’ i’ lanternino! (Look what he did! He did all this mess by himself!).

9) che s’ha a ire?, it means should we have to go? È tardi, che s’ha a ire? (It’s late, should we go?).

10) comandare a bacchetta, it literally means to baton command. It is used for a person who commands with authority someone else. La su’ moglie lo comanda a bacchetta! (His wife commands him as she wants!).

11) contare come i’ due di briscola, it means to be equal to the two of Briscola, that is the lowest valued card. Non ha un ruolo in quella società, conta quanto i’ due di briscola! (He doesn’t play a role in that society, he is not in charge of anything!).

12) dare i’ benservito, it means to give the testimonial (literally, well served). It is used when someone is fired or excluded from something, or to indicate the end of an affair. Non sapeva fare il suo lavoro! Gli hanno dato il benservito! (He wasn’t able to do his work! They fired him!).

13) entrarci come i’ cavolo a merenda, it means to be in topic as a cabbage for snack. It is used to indicate something that is inappropriate for a certain thing/situation, or not related to it. È questa la direzione giusta per andare a Firenze? No, e c’entra come i’ cavolo a merenda! (Is this the right direction for Florence? No, it is as a cabbage for snack!).

14) essere l’ultima ròta del carro, to be the last wheel (ruota) of the wagon. It is used to indicate someone who is the less considered person in a group/team. Nessuno lo stima, è l’ultima ruota del carro! (Nobody holds him in esteem, he is the last wheel of the wagon!).

15) essere come i’ prezzemolo, it means to be like the parsley, that is to be widespread like it. It is used to indicate a (sometimes annoying) person that is omnipresent, and wants to say his/her opinion about anything. Rieccolo! Gl’è come i’ prezzemolo! (Here he is again! He is like the parsley!).

16) pe’ forza un’ si fa nemmeno l’aceto, it means neither the vinegar is forcibly produced. It is used to indicate that nothing needs to be done forcibly. Veramente dobbiamo andare lì? No, per forza un’ si fa nemmeno l’aceto! (Really do we have to go there? No, neither the vinegar is made forcibly!).

17) anno, it means year. It’s used, mainly by nonni, to indicate the last year. Anno c’è stata una gran raccolta di olive! (Last year there was a great olive harvesting!). Anno di là (year beyond that) means the year before last year.

18) l’hai voluta la bicicletta? O pedala! It means did you want the bike? Pedal it! It is used for someone who made a choice and now must take responsibility for what he/she did, especially if things are getting worse.

19) fare i’ bastian contrario, it means to be a contrarian. Sei sempre il solito bastian contrario! (You are always the same contrarian!).

20) tu m’hai bell’e divertito, it literally means you already enjoyed me. It is used to indicate someone who is annoying/getting you tired. Tu m’hai bell’e divertito! Vàttene! (You’re annoying me! Begone!).

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