|Helpful Information - Italian Food Supersitions, Sayings and Proverbs|
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ITALIAN FOOD SUPERSTITIONS, SAYINGS & PROVERBS
An old superstition dictated that all loaves of bread must be marked with a sign of the cross before baking. Some say it is to prevent the devil from sitting on the loaf and spoiling it; others that it lets out evil.
In Umbria it is considered bad luck to stiir polenta in an anticlockwise direction.
It is considered disrespectful to lay a loaf of bread upside down as bread is considered the body of Christ by Roman Catholics; for the same reason never plunge a knife into a loaf of bread and leave it there.
It’s bad luck in a group to cross arms when toasting, and never raise a toast with a glass of water.
If you spill wine at the dinner table, dabbing a little of the spilled wine behind each ear for good luck.
Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere. Don't let the farmer know how good cheese is with pears.
Alla frutta. You’re in the fruit (Fed up and can’t take any more).
aver le mani in pasta, to have your hands in pasta (to be in the midst of doing something).
Avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca. To have the wine cask full and the wife drunk (have your cake and eat it, too).
Avere le mani in pasta. To have a finger in the pie.
Baccalà, dried cod (Italian name for someone uptight)
Botte piccola fa vino buono. A small cask makes good wine ( friendly compliment to a short person).
Buono come il pane. As good as bread (I thought it was reliable).
Butta la pasta! throw in the pasta! (coming home for lunch).
Cosa bolle in pentola? What’s boiling in the pot, or cooking? (what’s going on?)
Cotto, cooked (Have a crush on someone).
Cucinare qualcuno, to cook someone (treating him as he deserves)
essere una buona pasta, to be good pie (to be a good egg)
fare una spaghettata, to eat spaghetti (dine with friends or company)
farti i cavoli tuoi, making your cabbage (mind your own business).
Fatto una frittata. Made an omelette (got in a mess).
fritta e rifritta, fried and refried (a story told over and over).
la spaghettata di mezzanotte, midnight pasta(a meal shared by friends after an event)
Mangiabambini, baby-eater (someone terrible-looking, a bogey man).
Mangiacarte, a paper eater (a mediocre, ineffective lawyer).
Mangiacristiani, eater of Christians (a blustering ugly bore)
mangiapane a tradimento, a treacherous bread-eater (a scrounger).
mangiapane, bread-eater (a lazy person)
mangiapreti, a priest-eater (a rabid anticleric).
Mangiauomini, men-eater (a seductive, man-eating woman).
Ne ammazza più la gola che la spada. Gluttony kills more than the sword.
Non si puo avere la botte piena è la moglie ubriaca. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Non si vive di solo pane. One does not live by bread alone.
O mangiar questa minestra o saltar questa finestra. Either eat this soup or jump out this window. (Take it or leave it).
Pane al pane, vino al vino. To call bread bread and wine wine (To call a spade a spade).
pizza (Italian name for a bore)
Polpettone, a big meat ball (when something is slapped together roughly making it hard to digest).
prendersi uno spaghetto, become like spaghetti (to have a fright).
Prezzemolo, parsley (Italian name for a busybody).
salame, salami (Italian name for a silly fool)
Si pigliano più mosche in una gocciola di miele che in un barile d'aceto. You can catch more flies with honey than a barrel of vinegar.
Troppi cuochi guastano la cucina. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Tutto fumo e niente arrosto. All smoke and no roast (something that’s all sizzle and no steak).
Una mela al giorno leva il medico di torno. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
uomo di pasta frolla, shortbread man (morally weak man)
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