Living in Italy has shown me how creative Italians are in all aspects of life. Apart from the fashion and food, the Italian language itself is full of colourful, flamboyant, descriptive and detailed expressions.
We have teamed up with our favorite illustrator, Rob Wilson, to help in sharing some of our favorites:
"In bocca lupo..."
The common Italian expression to wish a person good luck is to wish them ‘In bocca al lupo’, which literally translates to “in the mouth of the wolf”. For most foreigners the automatic reply would be “thanks!”. However, Italians are extremely superstitious, so certain sayings have specific responses that must be used or else you’ll send a cold shiver down an Italian’s spine, as an incorrect response could bring bad luck. Therefore your reply must be ‘crepi il lupo” (or just “crepi”), which literally means ‘may the wolf die.”
Here are a few other expressions related to wolves:
“Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio”
translation: The wolf can loose its fur but it can't change its bad habits. For when you know something is bad for you, but you still continue to do it.
“Fame da lupi”
translation: To be as hungry as a wolf, Famished!
“Un tempo da lupi”
translation: The weather of the wolf. Really bad stormy weather, where only the strongest survive.
Illustrations by Rob Wilson