How do Italians swear?

There are a couple of things which don’t always come easy in Italy. That includes: driving, finding a PARKING space and talking to people who haven’t had their espresso shot yet. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you are likely to hear some INTERESTING expressions, too.


Italians can be very creative in dealing with their emotional surges. Just take a LOOK at the following list of swear words (+18). Let’s see what their meaning could be in English…


– despite its worldwide popularity, Italians themselves are not much familiar with the proper etymology of the word. It comes from the Middle Ages when people were punished by impalement – penetration by a stake (VAFFA). The letter N stands for the preposition IN (same meaning in Italian and English), whereas CULO is a vulgar way to call the bottom. I guess it’s more than clear now!

Porca miseria

– could be translated to the English BLO*DY HELL. It’s pretty funny to put the PORK and MISERY together, isn’t it? You can also meet PUTTANA (vulg. a prostitute) instead of miseria, or some Saint’s names, which would be treated as profanity

Pezzo di merda

– a piece of sh*t


– depending on the region, it could be considered more or less vulgar. The most common connotations are AWESOME or HOT (adjective f. FIGA/m. FIGO), however, FIGA standing alone will most probably relate to the female sex organ (in a vulgar way, of course)


– particularly used in Sicily. There even exists a special gesture for that, should you wish to express it from behind your car’s windshield. The word comes from CORNA (horns) – CORNUTO would be the past participle form meaning ”a person who got cheated by their partner”. Very offensive!


– di*k. Either you break your nail, forget your password or trip over a root – this one will fit in any problematic situation.

Of course there are many more, but hopefully you will never have to use none of them.
REMEMBER: don’t drive, don’t park and avoid sleepy-looking people!

Feel welcome to share your personal experience in the comment.



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