Italian Phrasebook

Here’s a list of all the “Listen & Repeat” Italian words featured on this blog. Now get studyin’ !

Pronunciation: Pee-ah-chay
Meaning: Like (verb)
Example: I piace to move it, move it!

Pronunciation: Cope-o-lah
Meaning: Scally cap (noun)
Example: I’m an Irish/Italian Bostonian, of course I know how to rock a coppola!

Pronunciation: Ghee-ahn-dah
Meaning: Acorn (noun)
Example: You look like a lil’ ghianda with your winter cap on!

Pronunciation: Skoy-ah-toe-low
Meaning: Squirrel (noun)
Example: I’m just a scoiattolo, trying to get a nut … so move your butt … to the dance floor!

Pronunciation: Stray-gah-toe
Meaning: Haunted (adj)
Example: Uh-oh! Our ball landed on the lawn of that stregato house!

Pronunciation: Moo-tahn-deh
Meaning: Underwear (noun)
Example: My favorite blog is obviously “Change of Mutande”!

Pronunciation: Or-sec-key-yo-toe
Meaning: Teddy Bear (noun)
Example: I sleep much better when I’ve got my orsacchiotto with me!

Pronunciation: Chee-lee-age-ee-eh
Meaning: Cherries (pl. noun)
Example: It is scientifically impossible to eat ciliegie in a non-sensual way!

Pronunciation: Co-pehr-ti-na
Meaning: Blanket (noun)
Example: Brrr! Gimme some copertina, yo!

Pronunciation: Fooer-bo
Meaning: Clever, smart, sly (adj)
Example: Getting the vacuum salesman to throw in a free juicer was a pretty furbo move on your part!

Pronunciation: Po-zahn-gher-ah
Meaning: Puddle (noun)
Example: A gentleman always lays his cloak over a pozzanghera for a lady.

Pronunciation: Temp-ehr-ee-no
Meaning: Pencil Sharpener (noun)
Example: Don’t put your fingers in the temperino, stupid!

Pronunciation: Ta-stee-er-ah
Meaning: Keyboard (noun)
Example: I swear, if my computer freezes up again, I’m gonna throw the tastiera through the damn screen!

Pronunciation: Cahr-ee-no
Meaning: Nice/Cute (adj)
Example: Look at that guy’s jacket! How carino!

Pronunciation: Graht-tar-ay
Meaning: Scratch (verb)
Example: Don’t grattare your itch or you’ll make it worse!

Pronunciation: Sah-lay
Meaning: Salt (noun)
Example: The supermarket is having a huge sale on sale! Let’s go stock up!

Pronunciation: For-mahdge-oh
Meaning: Cheese (noun)
Example: Scamorza is my favorite Italian formaggio, but provolone get’s me all excited too!

Pronunciation: Stootz-e-cah-den-tee
Meaning: Toothpick (noun)
Example: Nothin’ says Italian-American man like big sunglasses, a wifebeater, and a stuzzicadenti!

Pronunciation: Loo-chay
Meaning: Light (noun)
Example: Can you please tun off that luce! I’m trying to sleep!

Pronunciation: Jour-nahl-ay
Meaning: Newspaper (noun)
Example: My Dad was a giornale delivery boy when he was a kid!

Pronunciation: Poo-fee
Meaning: Smurfs (pl. noun)
Example: I love those mischievous blue Puffi!

Pronunciation: Gah-bee-ah-no
Meaning: Seagull (noun)
Example: A damn gabbiano stole my tuna fish sandwich!

Pronunciation: Seh-so
Meaning: Sex (noun)
Example: Man, there is a lot of sesso in Italian advertising!

Pronunciation: Kah-za
Meaning: House/Home (noun)
Example: I have to run casa real quick and let the dog out!

Pronunciation: Scree-vehr-ay
Meaning: Write (verb)
Example: Let me grab a pen so I can scrivere down your new phone number.

Pronunciation: Ree-dehr-ay
Meaning: Laugh (verb)
Example: I guess in Italy they write ROL instead of LOL, ‘cuz they say “ridere“!

Pronunciation: Pee-yen-oh
Meaning: Full (adj)
Example: I like to look at the glass as half pieno!

Pronunciation: Go-me-toe
Meaning: Elbow (noun)
Example: The wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage was known for his famous “flying gomito drop” move against his opponents.

Pronunciation: Fa-may
Meaning: Hunger (noun)
Example: I fame for your love!

Pronunciation: Fee-go
Meaning: Cool (adj)
Example: That dude’s hairy chest, paired with his gold crucifix chain, is really figo!

Pronunciation: Pah-chay
Meaning: Peace (noun)
Example: Meditation gives me a sense of inner pace!

Pronunciation: Lee-bro
Meaning: Book (noun)
Example: There’s nothing better then curling up to a good libro with a cup of hot tea and a cat … except I’m allergic to cats!

Pronunciation: Na-tahl-lay
Meaning: Christmas (noun)
Example: I want to wish a Merry Natale to all my blog readers!

Pronunciation: Goo-whats-ah-boo-leo
Meaning: A jumbled mess, a mish-mash (noun)
Example: What the heck have you done to my alphabetized and color-coordinated bookshelf? It’s a guazzabuglio now!

Pronunciation: Ah-me-co
Meaning: Friend (noun)
Example: Thanks for offering lunch! You’re such a great amico!

Pronunciation: Poh-moh-door-oh
Meaning: Tomato (noun)
Example: I betcha can’t eat 5 minutes in Italy without running across a pomodoro!

Pronunciation: Kah-mi-nahr-ay
Meaning: Walk (verb)
Example: I love that 80’s song from the Bangles called “Camminare like an Egyptian!”

Che barba!
Pronunciation: Kay bar-ba
Meaning: How boring! (literally – What a beard!)
Example: Che barba! This indie film seems like it will never end!

Pronunciation: Pee-pee-strell-oh
Meaning: Bat (noun – the flying kind)
Example: Giuseppe, grab the broom! Another pipistrello has gotten in the house!

Pronunciation: O-key-o
Meaning: Eye (noun)
Example: Can you keep an occhio on my glass of red wine while I run outside to check that my Vespa hasn’t gotten a parking ticket?

Pronunciation: She-are-pa
Meaning: Scarf (noun)
Example: A sciarpa is a delightful Italian fashion accessory that can even be worn when it’s roasting balls hot outside!

Pronunciation: Mehr-duh
Meaning: Sh!t (noun)
Example: Go take a good merda for yourself!

50 thoughts on “Italian Phrasebook

    • There is no logic at all! Whatever happens to be the first thing to come into my head (for example, for “camminare” I was actually listening to “Walk Like an Egyptian” and for “pipistrello”, I had some Halloween decorations up in my apartment, right in front of me…

      Plus, the more random/useless, the better, right? :-)

      • :D

        these words are very useful… especially the expression ‘che barba!’ – you should add next to it ‘frequent usage'(although, to tell the truth, its ruder version is way more frequent but maybe that one should not be added)…

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  3. Love the vocabulary! Thanks! Are you planning on adding more? I do think that you should advise your readers the the use of “ciao” is more like “ciao-ciao” and how prego is used!

  4. Hahaha that pipistrello made me crack up since you used to say you were the black bat of death- remember? Its the only reason I remember how to say bat in italian.

  5. Hey! I love your blog :). It made me laugh…and I can definitely relate to some of your experiences living as an American in a small town in Spain. By the way, how did you get the “Translate this Blog” and “Blog Visitors from around the world” features?

    • Ciao! Thanks for stopping by! I took a peek at your blog too. I think the topic of gracefully growing older is a great one! I think I may have a blog post about a similar topic someday. I’ll keep you updated!

      Anyhoo these two tools you asked me about are really useful for international bloggers such as ourselves!:

      for the Flag Counter, go here: (then just copy and paste the code they give you into your blog)

      for Google Translate go here: (same deal as above!)

      • Hey Garrett! Thanks for the links. I’m a bit stuck on where to paste them into the widgets. I can’t find anywhere where they stick/fit on my widget dashboard.
        By the way, I love your translation of invalids of war :). What I like about being in Spain is finding all the hilarious menu translations into English (like the other day “landfill of cheese”, i.e. some pasta stuffed with cheese :).

      • I suppose that all WordPress themes are different, but mine has a widget called “arbitrary text”, where you can title it (ie. Blog visitors from around the world) and then paste the text into the body. Then you just save it, and you should be all set!
        Hope it works!

        P.S. I once saw the word “lobster paws” on the English version of a menu in Italy. :-D

  6. Guazzabuglio ? That is beyond cool – I think I have just found my new favorite word

    Non l’ho mai sentito Garret. Grazie mille !

  7. Non è profondo ma….

    “Hai sentito cosa è successo al direttore dello zoo che ha tradito sua moglia?”


    “La sua vita è diventato un guazzabuglio bestiale”

    Howzzat? How do we say “corny” in Italian ?

  8. Sto rotolando in terra dal ridere. :D
    Io proporrei: piccione (che si diverte a smerd..mi la macchina), micio, bolletta, querelare, cartoccio…

    Definitely a really nice blog. Good job!

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