Top 36 Slang For Italians – Meaning & Usage

Italy, known for its rich culture and vibrant language, is also home to a unique array of slang words and expressions. Whether you’re planning a trip to the country or simply want to expand your linguistic repertoire, this listicle is here to help you navigate the colorful world of Italian slang. From popular phrases to regional dialects, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the lively language of Italy and amaze your friends with your newfound Italian flair!

Click above to generate some slangs

1. Paisan

This term is used to refer to a fellow Italian or someone of Italian descent. It is often used as a friendly and familiar way to address or refer to someone from Italy.

  • For example, “Hey paisan, how’s it going?”
  • In a conversation about Italian culture, one might say, “As paisans, we have a strong sense of family.”
  • A proud Italian might exclaim, “I’m a paisan through and through!”

2. Mamma mia

This exclamation is commonly used in Italian culture to express surprise, frustration, or disbelief. It has become a popular catchphrase in many countries, often associated with Italian stereotypes.

  • For instance, “Mamma mia, I can’t believe how good this pasta tastes!”
  • A person might exclaim, “Mamma mia, I just spilled coffee all over my shirt!”
  • In a comedic situation, someone might say, “Mamma mia, that was a close call!”

3. Ciao bella

This phrase is a common way to greet a woman in Italian. It is often used as a friendly and flirtatious greeting, especially when addressing someone in a casual or informal setting.

  • For example, “Ciao bella, how’s your day going?”
  • A person might say, “Ciao bella, you’re looking stunning today!”
  • In a conversation about Italian phrases, someone might teach, “Ciao bella means hello beautiful in Italian.”

4. Nonna

This term is used to refer to one’s grandmother in Italian. It is a term of endearment and respect for the matriarch of the family.

  • For instance, “I’m going to visit my nonna this weekend.”
  • A person might say, “My nonna makes the best homemade pasta.”
  • In a discussion about family traditions, someone might share, “My nonna taught me how to make her secret sauce.”

5. Prego

This versatile Italian word has multiple meanings depending on the context. It can be used to say “you’re welcome” in response to a thank you, or as a polite way to say “please” when offering something.

  • For example, “Thank you for the help.” “Prego, it was my pleasure.”
  • A person might say, “Prego, have a seat and make yourself comfortable.”
  • In a restaurant, a server might say, “Prego, enjoy your meal.”

6. Fugazi

This term is used to describe something or someone that is fake, counterfeit, or not genuine. It can also refer to something that is broken or useless.

  • For example, “That designer handbag is fugazi, it’s definitely a knockoff.”
  • In a conversation about music, someone might say, “Their last album was totally fugazi, they’ve lost their original sound.”
  • A person discussing a faulty product might complain, “I bought this phone, but it turned out to be fugazi, it stopped working after a week.”

7. Gabagool

This word is a slang term for capicola, a type of Italian cold cut made from pork. It is often pronounced as “gabagool” by Italian-Americans.

  • For instance, in a conversation about sandwiches, someone might say, “I’ll have a sub with turkey, ham, and gabagool.”
  • A person discussing Italian cuisine might mention, “Capicola, or gabagool as some people call it, is a popular ingredient in Italian subs.”
  • In a discussion about regional food preferences, someone might say, “In New Jersey, they love their gabagool on sandwiches.”

8. Bambino

This word is an Italian slang term for “child” or “baby.” It is often used as an affectionate nickname for a young child.

  • For example, a parent might say, “Come here, bambino, it’s time for bed.”
  • In a conversation about family, someone might ask, “How many bambinos do you have?”
  • A person discussing the joys of parenthood might say, “Having a bambino has brought so much happiness into my life.”

9. Mangia

This word is derived from the Italian verb “mangiare,” which means “to eat.” It is often used as a slang term to encourage someone to eat or to express enjoyment of food.

  • For instance, in a conversation about a delicious meal, someone might exclaim, “Mangia, mangia! This pasta is amazing.”
  • A person discussing Italian food culture might say, “Italians love to mangia, it’s a big part of our lifestyle.”
  • In a discussion about healthy eating, someone might advise, “You should mangia more vegetables for a balanced diet.”

10. Mafioso

This term refers to a member or associate of the Mafia, a secret criminal organization originating in Italy. It is often used to describe someone involved in organized crime or someone who exhibits characteristics associated with the Mafia.

  • For example, in a discussion about crime movies, someone might say, “He played the role of a mafioso in that film.”
  • A person discussing the history of organized crime might mention, “The infamous mafiosos of Sicily were known for their ruthless tactics.”
  • In a conversation about someone exhibiting intimidating behavior, someone might comment, “He acts like a mafioso, always trying to intimidate others.”

11. Bada bing

This phrase is often used to express excitement or approval. It originated from Italian-American slang and gained popularity through its use in the TV show “The Sopranos”.

  • For example, after successfully completing a task, someone might say, “Bada bing! We did it!”
  • In a conversation about a delicious meal, a person might exclaim, “This pizza is amazing, bada bing!”
  • When agreeing with someone’s statement, one might simply say, “Bada bing, you’re right!”

12. Capisce

This word is derived from the Italian verb “capire,” which means “to understand.” It is commonly used in Italian-American slang to ask if someone comprehends what has been said.

  • For instance, a teacher might ask the class, “We will have a test tomorrow, capisce?”
  • In a conversation where instructions are given, a person might say, “You need to follow these steps, capisce?”
  • When making sure someone is paying attention, one might say, “Listen carefully, capisce?”

13. Fuhgeddaboudit

This phrase is a slang pronunciation of “forget about it” and is commonly used in Italian-American slang. It is often used to dismiss or downplay something.

  • For example, if someone suggests a plan that is not feasible, another person might respond, “Fuhgeddaboudit, it won’t work.”
  • In a conversation about a past mistake, someone might say, “Yeah, I messed up big time, but fuhgeddaboudit, it’s in the past.”
  • When someone asks for a favor that is impossible to fulfill, one might say, “Sorry, fuhgeddaboudit, I can’t help you with that.”

14. Spaghetti western

This term refers to a subgenre of western films that were produced and directed by Italian filmmakers. These movies gained popularity in the mid-20th century and often featured a unique blend of American and Italian styles.

  • For instance, a film enthusiast might say, “Have you seen any spaghetti westerns? They have a distinct style.”
  • In a discussion about classic western films, one might mention, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a famous spaghetti western.”
  • When comparing different types of western movies, a person might say, “Spaghetti westerns have a different atmosphere compared to traditional American westerns.”

15. Guido

This term originated as a derogatory slang word but has evolved to be used as a description of a specific Italian-American male stereotype. It is often associated with a flashy and exaggerated style, muscular physique, and a strong emphasis on personal grooming.

  • For example, in a conversation about reality TV shows, someone might say, “Jersey Shore featured a lot of Guido characters.”
  • When discussing fashion trends, a person might comment, “The Guido style was popular in the 2000s.”
  • In a lighthearted way, someone might jokingly say, “I’m going to dress like a Guido for Halloween.”

16. Gelato

Gelato is a type of Italian ice cream that is known for its smooth and creamy texture. It is made with milk, sugar, and various flavors. Gelato is often served in a cone or cup and is a popular dessert in Italy.

  • For example, “I can’t visit Italy without trying some authentic gelato.”
  • A person might say, “Let’s go get some gelato to cool off on this hot day.”
  • Someone might ask, “What’s your favorite gelato flavor?”

17. Vino

Vino is the Italian word for wine. Italy is known for producing a wide variety of wines, including red, white, and sparkling wines. Wine is an important part of Italian culture and is often enjoyed with meals or during social gatherings.

  • For instance, “I love pairing a good glass of vino with my pasta.”
  • A person might say, “Let’s open a bottle of vino to celebrate.”
  • Someone might ask, “Do you prefer red or white vino?”

18. Espresso

Espresso is a type of strong coffee that is brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. It is typically served in a small cup and is known for its rich flavor and intense caffeine kick. Espresso is a popular choice for Italians and is often enjoyed after a meal.

  • For example, “I need a shot of espresso to wake me up.”
  • A person might say, “Let’s meet for an espresso at the local cafe.”
  • Someone might ask, “Do you prefer a single or double shot of espresso?”

19. Fuggedaboutit

Fuggedaboutit is a slang term that originated from Italian-American communities. It is often used to dismiss or disregard something, similar to saying “forget about it” or “don’t worry about it.” This phrase is commonly associated with New York City and is often used in a playful or sarcastic manner.

  • For instance, “I asked him for a favor, but he said fuggedaboutit.”
  • A person might say, “You think you can beat me in a race? Fuggedaboutit.”
  • Someone might respond to a request with, “Fuggedaboutit, it’s not gonna happen.”

20. Capisce?

Capisce is an Italian word that is often used in American slang to ask if someone understands or comprehends something. It is derived from the Italian verb “capire,” which means “to understand.” Capisce is commonly associated with Italian-American culture and is often used in a lighthearted or joking manner.

  • For example, “I explained the plan to him three times, capisce?”
  • A person might say, “You need to be here by 7 PM, capisce?”
  • Someone might ask, “I’m not sure if I made myself clear, capisce?”

21. Faccia di culo

This slang term is used to describe someone with an unpleasant or unattractive face. It is often used as an insult or to express annoyance or frustration towards someone.

  • For example, if someone is being rude or disrespectful, you might say, “Che faccia di culo!” meaning “What an ass face!”
  • In a heated argument, one person might insult the other by saying, “Sei proprio una faccia di culo!” meaning “You’re such an ass face!”
  • When someone does something selfish or inconsiderate, you could exclaim, “Ma che faccia di culo!” meaning “What a selfish ass face!”

22. Basta

This Italian word is commonly used to convey the meaning of “enough” or “stop.” It can be used in various contexts to indicate that something should come to an end or that someone should stop doing something.

  • For instance, if someone is talking too much, you can say “Basta!” to tell them to stop.
  • In a situation where someone is eating too much, you might say “Basta così!” meaning “Enough already!”
  • If someone is complaining excessively, you could say “Basta lamentarsi!” meaning “Stop complaining!”

23. Pizzaiolo

This term refers to a person who makes pizzas professionally. It is commonly used to describe someone who works in a pizzeria or specializes in making pizzas.

  • For example, if you visit a pizzeria and want to compliment the person making your pizza, you can say “Bravo, pizzaiolo!” meaning “Well done, pizza maker!”
  • In a conversation about Italian cuisine, you might mention the importance of skilled pizzaiolos in creating authentic pizzas.
  • If you’re looking for a job at a pizzeria, you could ask, “Sapete se cercano pizzaioli?” meaning “Do you know if they’re hiring pizza makers?”

24. Bellissimo

This Italian word is commonly used to describe something or someone as beautiful or very beautiful. It can be used to express admiration or appreciation for something visually appealing.

  • For instance, if you see a breathtaking view, you can exclaim “Che bellissimo!” meaning “How beautiful!”
  • When complimenting someone on their appearance, you might say “Sei bellissimo/a!” meaning “You’re beautiful!”
  • If you taste a delicious dish, you could say “Questa pasta è bellissima!” meaning “This pasta is beautiful!”

25. Salute

This Italian word is used to toast or raise a glass in celebration. It is the equivalent of saying “cheers” in English and is commonly used when clinking glasses before taking a drink.

  • For example, when you’re at a party and want to make a toast, you can say “Salute!” to wish everyone good health and happiness.
  • In a social gathering, someone might raise their glass and say “Salute a tutti!” meaning “Cheers to everyone!”
  • When celebrating a special occasion, you could say “Facciamo un brindisi, salute!” meaning “Let’s make a toast, cheers!”

26. Basta cosi

This phrase is used to express that something is sufficient or that someone should stop what they are doing. It can also be used to convey a sense of finality or to indicate that something is finished.

  • For instance, if someone offers you more food and you are full, you can say, “Basta cosi, grazie!” (That’s enough, thank you!).
  • In a conversation, if someone keeps talking and you want them to stop, you can say, “Basta cosi! I’ve heard enough.”
  • When negotiating a price, if you think the amount suggested is fair, you can say, “Basta cosi, accordo fatto!” (That’s enough, deal done!).
See also  Top 59 Slang For Bad Feeling – Meaning & Usage

27. Ciao

This is a common Italian greeting used to say hello or goodbye. It is a versatile term that can be used in both formal and informal settings.

  • For example, when meeting a friend, you can say, “Ciao! Come stai?” (Hello! How are you?).
  • When leaving a gathering, you can say, “Ciao a tutti! Ci vediamo presto!” (Goodbye everyone! See you soon!).
  • In a more casual setting, you might simply greet someone with a casual “Ciao!” or bid farewell with a quick “Ciao!”.

28. Bella

This word is often used to describe something or someone as beautiful, attractive, or pleasing. It can be used to compliment someone’s appearance or to express admiration for something.

  • For instance, if you see a stunning view, you can exclaim, “Che bella!” (How beautiful!).
  • When complimenting a person, you might say, “Sei bella!” (You are beautiful!).
  • In a conversation about art, you can use “bella” to describe a beautiful painting or sculpture.

29. Gabbagool

This is a slang term for capicola, a type of Italian cured meat. It is often used in Italian-American communities and has gained popularity through its use in TV shows and movies.

  • For example, in the TV show “The Sopranos,” the character Tony Soprano often mispronounces “capicola” as “gabbagool.”
  • In a deli, you might order a sandwich with gabbagool as one of the ingredients.
  • Some people use “gabbagool” as a playful way to refer to Italian-American culture or food.

30. Goomah

This term is used to refer to a man’s mistress or a woman who is involved in an extramarital affair. It is derived from the Italian word “comare,” which means godmother or close female friend.

  • For instance, in the TV show “The Sopranos,” the character Tony Soprano has a goomah named Irina.
  • In a discussion about infidelity, someone might mention having a goomah.
  • The term “goomah” is often used in Italian-American communities and is sometimes used in a lighthearted or joking manner.
See also  Top 35 Slang For Trumpet – Meaning & Usage

31. Stugots

Stugots is a slang term derived from the Italian word “stugotsa,” which means testicles. It is often used as a vulgar expression to denote frustration or annoyance.

  • For example, someone might say, “I can’t believe I lost my keys again. Stugots!”
  • In a heated argument, one person might yell, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, stugots!”
  • A character in a mob movie might threaten, “You better watch your back, or you’ll end up swimming with the stugots.”

32. Mamaluke

Mamaluke is an Italian-American slang term that originated from the Italian word “mammalucco,” which means idiot or fool. It is often used to describe someone who is foolish or gullible.

  • For instance, one might say, “Don’t listen to him, he’s a mamaluke.”
  • In a joking manner, a person might tease their friend by saying, “You really pulled a mamaluke move there.”
  • In a comedy movie, a character might exclaim, “What are you, some kind of mamaluke?”

33. Fettuccine

Fettuccine is a type of pasta that is long, flat, and wide. In slang, it can be used to refer to a person of Italian descent, similar to how spaghetti is sometimes used.

  • For example, someone might say, “He’s a fettuccine, just like his nonna.”
  • In a lighthearted conversation, a person might joke, “I’m not just any pasta, I’m fettuccine.”
  • A character in a movie might say, “Watch out for those fettuccines, they’ve got a lot of family loyalty.”

34. Bello

Bello is an Italian word that means beautiful or handsome. In slang, it can be used to compliment someone’s appearance or to refer to someone attractive.

  • For instance, one might say, “Wow, you look bello today!”
  • In a romantic context, a person might say, “You’re the most bello person I’ve ever met.”
  • A character in a book might describe someone by saying, “He had a bello face with piercing eyes.”

35. Dolce vita

Dolce vita is an Italian phrase that translates to “sweet life” in English. It refers to a relaxed and luxurious lifestyle, often associated with enjoying the finer things in life.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m living the dolce vita on my vacation in Italy.”
  • In a conversation about work-life balance, a person might say, “I’m trying to find a way to incorporate more dolce vita into my daily routine.”
  • A character in a movie might dream of “escaping to the dolce vita and leaving all their worries behind.”
See also  Top 37 Slang For Stubborn – Meaning & Usage

36. Bella figura

This Italian phrase refers to the concept of making a good impression or presenting oneself well in public. It is often used to describe someone who is stylish, elegant, or socially skilled.

  • For instance, a person might say, “She always dresses impeccably and has a real bella figura.”
  • When talking about a well-dressed individual, someone might comment, “He really knows how to make a bella figura wherever he goes.”
  • In a discussion about manners and etiquette, a person might mention, “In Italian culture, making a bella figura is highly valued.”