Language course books are structured to make you learn a language progressively. They generally help you learn standard expressions, grammar, and new vocabulary.


When studying a language, however, it is important to also learn some common slang expressions. In fact, as we know very well, the language everyone speaks in everyday life and the language we learn in textbooks are not always the same.


Italians, for example, use many slang expressions in everyday life, so learning them can be useful to both understand Italians better and to improve your own Italian language skills.


So, today you’re going to learn ten common Italian slang expressions:

1. Fare senso
2. Avercela con qualcuno
3. Mettere che
4. Toccare a qualcuno
5. Mi fa
6. Mi sa che
7. Sclerare, dare di matto
8. Imboscarsi
9. Prendere per i fondelli, prendere per il culo
10. In bocca al lupo



1. Fare senso


Fare senso is a common informal Italian expression used to indicate that something gives you a strong unpleasant impression, usually of disgust. Example:


  • La vista del sangue mi ha sempre fatto senso.
  • The sight of blood has always made me sick.



2. Avercela con qualcuno


Avercela con qualcuno is another common Italian slang expression. It means to be angry with someone. Example:


  • Non gli parlo perché ce l’ho con lui per avermi dato buca ieri sera. 
  • I’m not talking to him because I’m angry with him for standing me up last night.



3. Mettere che...


Mettere che is an expression to convey “suppose that”, and it’s used to make suppositions and hypotheses.


Generally it’s used in the second singular person and in the first and second plural person forms: metti che, mettiamo che, mettete che. Example:


  • Metti che ci rubino il bagaglio, non è meglio se l’assicuriamo?
  • Suppose someone steals our luggage, isn’t it better if we insure it?



4. Toccare a qualcuno


This is an expression that can have at least two different meanings:


A) It can indicate that someone has to do something, usually unwillingly. It’s usually used in the forms: mi tocca, ci tocca, vi tocca, gli tocca, le tocca. Example:


  • Domani mi tocca tagliare il prato…che voglia! 
  • Tomorrow I have to mow the lawn…how fun!


B) It can indicate that something doesn’t bother, worry, or upset you. It’s generally used in one of the following forms: mi tocca, ci tocca, vi tocca, gli tocca, le tocca. Example:


  • Il fatto che si sia risposato non mi tocca neanche un po’.
  • The fact that he remarried doesn’t bother me a bit.



5. Mi fa...


When the verb fare is preceded by a pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi), it can acquire the meaning of “someone told me”. Example:


  • Stavamo mangiando e tutto a un tratto lui mi fa: “voglio il divorzio”.
  • We were eating and suddenly he told me “I want a divorce”.



6. Mi sa che...


This informal expression means “I think” or “I believe”. It’s typically used in the first singular person. Example:


  • Mi sa che oggi nevica. 
  • I think it’s going to snow today.



7. Sclerare, dare di matto


These two expressions have the same meaning: to get angry, to be out of your mind. Examples:


  • Sta sclerando perché gli hanno appena fatto una multa.
  • Sta dando fuori di matto perché gli hanno appena fatto una multa.
  • He’s freaking out because he just got a ticket.



8. Imboscarsi


This expression can mean: “to hide”, “to go where no one can find you”, or “to have a roll in the hay”. Example:


  • Quando ha sentito parlare di straordinari, si è subito imboscato. 
  • When he heard about overtime [hours], he immediately vanished into thin air.



9. Prendere per i fondelli; prendere per il culo


These two Italian expressions mean “to tease” or “to make fun of someone”. The only difference is that prendere per il culo is more vulgar. Example:


  • L’hanno preso per i fondelli/l’hanno preso per il culo tutto il tempo perché si era tinto i capelli di verde. 
  • They teased him the whole time because he dyed his hair green.



10. In bocca al lupo


In bocca al lupo is an expression used to wish somebody good luck. Example:


  • In bocca al lupo per il tuo esame!
  • Good luck on your exam!


Italians generally reply with crepi.


Good. Now you know ten more Italian slang expressions. So let’s practice. Why don’t you try to use three of them in your next conversation?


If you want to learn more about the Italian language, visit here.


Are there some Italian slang expressions that you know and particularly like? Or do you already know some of them? Comment below!


Hero image by Levi Guzman (CC0 1.0)