England and America are two countries separated by the same language (George Bernard Shaw)

Social Life
Doing Things
Working And Money
Social Types
American English - British English Dictionary


A  M  E  R  I  C  A  N     E  N  G  L  I  S  H

:: Use Ctrl+F to search for a specific idiom or scroll down for the complete listing ::




Sedersi al bar a bere qualcosa

To pony up to the bar
Let's pony up to the bar and have a drink.

Essere felice e contento
To be like a kid in a candy store
Bruce's so happy about his new car... he's just like a kid in a candy store.


Essere eleganti in modo vistoso

To look very trashy, To look dressed to kill, To be dressed up to the nine, To be piss elegant
I know she tried to do her best, dressing up for the party, but she looked very trashy... we couldn't stop laughing.


Ferire, mettere in difficoltà, danneggiare

To do a number on somebody
Harry did a number on his girlfriend: she had to swallow her pride and take back all her stuff.


Organizzarsi, riorganizzarsi, sistemare la propria vita

To have (to get) one's shit together
One of these days you will finally get your shit together... you're a disaster!


Intrattenersi, mescolarsi, prendere contatto

To rub elbows with someone
Charles likes going to the parties to rub elbows with American gals.


Scroccare, prendere in prestito sapendo di non restituire

To bum something
Excuse me... can I bum you a cigarette?


Verificare l'identità, controllare (ingresso di feste, club, liste invitati)

To card someone
The doorman wanted to make sure we were of age, so he carded us.


Intromettersi, anche se non graditi

To horn in
Nora has the bad habit of always trying to horn in our rap sessions.


Una presentazione esagerata, un evento per vendere

A dog and pony show
They put on a hell of a dog and pony show trying to build our enthusiasm for new products.

Lo scemo ed il fesso insieme
Tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum (characters in the novel Alice in Wonderland)
The two losers at the bingo parlor seemed like tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, just standing and forgetting to punch the numbers!

Dire o pensare la stessa cosa

Ted: "I think I'd like a hot dog..." - Brian: "Ditto! Let's go get one."

Essere eccitati per qualcosa
To be fired up about something
I'm so fired up about meeting her tomorrow... wow!

Tenere qualcuno sulle spine
To keep someone on pins and needles, To keep somebody on edge
She kept me on pins and needles (on edge) all week, before confirming that we'll be staying together at the week-end.

Stare all'angolo opposto
Take a cab and explain that your hotel is just kitty-corner to the post office.

Rinviare, posticipare un'uscita
To take a rain check
Meg's too busy to accept Sam's invitation, so she'll take a rain check on it... maybe for next weekend.

Poi vediamo, decidiamo dopo...

On the fly
So, Melanie... we can go shopping and... after that it is on the fly, let's go without planning beforehand.!


Lasciare in sospeso qualcuno

To leave somebody hanging
Don't leave me hanging... I need to know your decision by tonight.

To be bummed, To feel bummed
Don't be bummed (don't feel bummed), my dear: things change!

Un training (psicologico) severo
Tough love
The group was led by psychologists, and patients were given tough love, in order to give up drinking liquor.

Essere attratti sessualmente
To hit on somebody, To pick up on somebody
Jason dug her... he wasn't embarrassed to hit on the chick he liked in front of everyone.
He was obviously picking up on Grace when he asked her for the astrological sign.

L'amore non corrisposto
To carry a torch for somebody (American English)
Steve's still carrying the torch for an old squeeze... poor him!
John... Molly has been in love with you for years: she's carrying the torch and you doesn't see!


Essere completamente nudi

To be butt naked, To be stark naked
The wino was lying down on the sidewalk butt naked (stark naked), tightly holding a bottle of whiskey.

Mantenere la propria posizione, non cambiare le proprie decisioni
To hang tough
After he makes up his mind he hangs tough, never moving from his position.

Essere criticati pesantemente

To draw fire
They drew fire on Mandy for wearing fur to the party.
Don't get fire drawn on you for doing that!


Parlare con ipocrisia, dire cose in base alle situazioni

To talk out of one's ass, To talk out both sides of one's mouth
What do I make of him? He's a false person... he talks out of his ass (talks out of both sides of his mouth).

Avere torto
To be in (the) left field
Joe's so unreasonable: he never recognizes when he is in (the) left field.
You're way out in left field on that one... you've no clue, no idea!

Attaccare qualcuno alle spalle, parlare dietro
To back stab, To do the dirt on somebody
He back stabbed me (he did the dirt on me) by telling Sheila I didn't like her.

Imbrogliare qualcuno
To do a job on somebody
They did a job on Ted by filling his cas with water.
When I realized the stereo didn't work, I understood that the salesman had really done a job on me.

Cominciare ad arrabbiarsi sul serio, incazzarsi
To blow a fuse
The policeman blew a fuse when the driver told him he forgot his driving licence at home.

Sentirsi scoppiare per stare chiusi troppo tempo
To be stir-crazy, To go stir-crazy (nuts, bonkers), To bounce off the walls
I haven't been out of the house for so long that I'm going stir-crazy (nuts, bonkers, I'm bouncing off the walls).

Essere puniti severamente
To be dead meat, Your ass is mine, Your ass is grass
You can run away but, you'll be dead meat (your ass is mine, your ass is grass) when I get you!

Trovare un accomodamento, un accordo
To cut a deal
After negotiating for a couple of weeks, we cut a deal with the landlord on the selling price of the house.





Fare conversazione

To shoot the shit
Don and Sally were shooting the shit till the bar closed.

Avvalersi della facoltà di non rispondere

To plead (to take) the Fifth Amendment (humorous) mean I made on Chuck's girlfriend? Oh, sorry... I take (I plead) the fifth on that!

Chiacchiere, aria fritta
Yadder-yadder, Yap, Yidder-yadder, Gab, Gabbing, Babbled, Babbelling
They are so gabby all the time with their noisy yadder-yadder (yap, gab, gabbin', babbellin')!

Dire o chiedere cose inopportune, fare una gaffe

To put a foot in it
I put a foot in it asking to Mandy about her private life... I had no idea she got divorced.



Howdy Jane, what's up? Are you doing well?

Oh Cristo!
Jesus! Gee! Geez!
Jesus! The last time I met them they looked completely strange and different!

Sì, buonanotte! Beato chi ci crede!

Tell it to the Marines!
...Belinda an intelligent girl? Please, Ned... tell it to the Marines!


Ottimo, ben fatto

Roy did a bang-up job fixing the muffler...



"How about meeting tomorrow?" - "Positive! I'll be there."


E non tirarla troppo per le lunghe...

Quit stalling!
Hey Kim... quit stalling or you're gonna miss the train!


Girare intorno ad un concetto prima di esprimerlo

Hem and haw
After hemming and hawing I asked Marion to spend the weekend together.


Sbagliato, errato, completamente fuori strada

(to be) all wet
Terry I don't know where you got your ideas about who I am... they are all wet!


E come se non bastasse, dulcis in fundo (alla fine di fatti negativi)

And baby Jesus cried
My girlfriend is mad at me, they didn't admit me to the exams, I got a bad flu and... baby Jesus cried!


Tutto quanto, da capo a piedi, in ogni particolare

(the) whole ball of wax
Tom's fantastic: he restored the house from the roof to the cellar... the whole ball of wax!
Ed set up the party making sure everything was in order: food and drinks, invitations... the whole ball of wax.


Un sacco, un mucchio, molto

An awful lot
Sheila doesn't know an awful lot about classic but, she's a talking artist... she'll pass the exam.


Grande, molto grande, massivo

(to) choke a horse (American English)
Dana was preparing a roast big enough to choke a horse.


Zitto! Taci!

Zip it! Bag your face! Bag it! Shut your pie hole! Put a sock in it!
Janet, I'm tired of hearing your whining... Zip it (shut your pie hole, put a sock in it)!
Hey Mike, stop talking rubbish... bag yo' face (bag it,zip it)!

Datti da fare, muoviti!
Move your ass! Hop to it! Get going!
Come on... you better move your ass (hop to it, get going)! You've to start packing your stuff.


Dare una mano, essere di aiuto, dare supporto

To go to bat for somebody
Ted, if you think Wendy's in trouble, you've to go to bat for her!


Ci sono cose che vanno fatte comunque, costi quel che costi

A man's got to do...
Steve, you're a man... there are things you can't walk away from: a man's got to do what a man's got to do!


Che schifo! Uno schifo...

Bummer (what a bummer!)
Jack's party was so boring... a real bummer (what a bummer)!
Oh bummer! The gas station is closed... we gonna gas up the car to the next service...


Fare un freddo cane, un freddo bestiale

To freeze one's butt off
The Midwest? I can't get over how cold it was... I was freezing my butt off there!

Andar via
Outta here (blow this joint)
I'm leaving... I'm outta here (I'm blowin' this joint)!

Abbi cura di te, riguardati, fai attenzione (quando parte qualcuno)

Don't take any wooden nickels
"I'm leaving tomorrow..." - "Have a good trip and don't take any wooden nickels!"


Ci puoi scommetere, ti puoi giocare la camicia

You can bet your bottom dollar
You can bet your bottom dollar that I will get my own way... no doubt!


Proprio non va, fa incazzare

To suck, To blow, To bite
I've still heard nothing from you... that sucks (that bites, that blows)!





Organizzare qualcosa per bene

To get one's ducks in a row (lined up)
She's so busy getting her ducks in a row (lined up) for the next meeting.


Andare a duemila, dare il massimo

To pour it on
Randy? Great performer! She's a pouring it on to get a raise.
The team is pouring it on to win the game!


Lavorare in team, fare gioco di squadra, collaborare

To play ball
Hey, Ron, you still have to learn how to play ball with the team...


La parte più importante di qualcosa

The meat and potato of something
The last days of the tour will be the meat and potato of our journey.

Aver diritto su qualcosa, avere la priorità

To have dibs on
The teacher has dibs on the best seat in the refectory.
Freshmen have first dibs on the front seats.
The landlord has first dibs on buying the rest of the building site.

Fare qualcosa senza pensar troppo alle conseguenze

To let the chips fall where they may
Don't think too much about it: let's do it, it's a chance thing... let the chips fall where they may.


Fare delle cavolate, perdere il controllo, andare a rotoli

To come unglued, to come unstuck
Nancy's really strong but after she failed the final test she seemed to come unglued.
If someone talked to me like that I would just come unstuck!
Our plan started showing to come unglued with new problems coming up at every moment.
When Dana's parents got divorced her life came completely unstuck.


Liberarsi delle cose inutili

To give the bum's rush
He was becoming a nuisance and we gave him the bum's rush and moved to the other side of the bar.


Qualcosa che non interessa

It's no skin off my back (teeth)
I didn't watch the match... if the Red Bulls won, it's no skin off my back (off my back teeth).

Sprecare, andar sprecato

To go down the tubes
Such a shame about your business going down the tubes.

Un problema costante, fastidioso
A monkey on somebody's back
Drinking has always been a monkey on Ted's back.
The baby used to cry all the night long, like a monkey on his mother's back... they couldn't sleep a wink.

Ingarbugliare, incasinare, confondere
To ball somebody up; to ball something up
Too many one-ways has balled Tom up... the right direction is lost!
Sheila... don't use my pc! You'll ball it up!


Velocemente, di corsa

Likety split
Did you see the controller? ...better get out of here likety split!
Don't mind for the car: Sam'll get a fix available likety split.


Un bel pasticcio

A pretty kettle of fish
You crazy! See what pretty kettle of fish you've made: the house is all a mess!

Disorganizzato, confuso

All over the lot
The new manager? I've been so unimpressed: he's all mixed up... all over the lot!


Non aver capito nulla

(to be) all wet
In my opinion your ideas about foreign affairs are all wet.
If you think I like Maud you're really all wet!


Permettere qualcosa generalmente non è concessa

To cut sombody some slack
Even if women were not allowed to vote and speak in public, the local television cut them some slack, interviewing them in a short special.

Fingere di dormire
To play possum
Don't trust Matt! He's pretending! He's playing possum just to get round working the night shift.




Essere il capo

To be the head honcho
Recently he has become the organization's head honcho, as a reward for his problem-solving capabilities.

Essere nuovo in una situazione
The new kid on the block
Being the new kid on the block, he still has to get the hang of the situation.

Muovere i primi passi in qualcosa
To get one's feet wet
When he entered the new company he soon got his feet wet with the financial jargon

Essere determinati, risoluti, voler portare a termine un progetto
To be bound and determined
Greg's bound and determined to set up an import-export activity... he will be successful, let's bet on it!


Trattar male una persona perché ha sbagliato

To chew somebody's ass
The old manager chewed her ass for being not focused enough.

Bighellonare, perdere tempo
To Spin one's wheels
Ed, stop spinning your wheels by just talking about the problem and not doing something!

Spingere qualcuno a fare di più
To light fire under somebody
The boss lit the fire under the workers of the branch he was in charge of.

Spremersi le meningi
To wrap one's brain
I've been wrapping my brain for new ideas and I can't think of any!
They asked Andy to wrap his brain around creating something unique for the new project.

Semplificare, rendere più facile
To dumb down
You should rewrite your letter and dumb it down, otherwise no one will read it to the end.

Completare una lettera, un report
To block out
Thank you for blocking out my c.v. for me, I'll send it to that company tomorrow.

Essere sotto lo standard
Bush league
He's a lazy-bones: he normally does things in a bush league and slapdash fashion.

Essere leccapiedi, un leccaculo
To be a brown-nose, To be brown-noser
He's so hypocritical: he says 'yes' all the time and is such a brown-nose (brown-noser)!

La vita ripetitiva di chi lavora
The ho-hum life (the hum drum life)
Today you gain in material satisfactions what you lose in freedom... that's the ho-hum life (hum drum life).

Soldi, denaro, dollari
Bucks, greens, cash, bread, lucre, lettuce, cabbage, pelf, dough, moolah, shekels, cha-ching, wampum
You know, homey... Life is simply a matter of few bucks and buddies.
It's hard to make a buck today with the high cost of living.

Soldi sporchi, denaro fatto illegalmente

To make quick (fast) buck
Many of them made quick bucks by selling illegal whiskey... trading "moonshine", you know
So, Ted... what's the best way to make a fast buck, to earn money easily?


Un quarto di dollaro

A quarter
Hey man, help me, have you got even a quarter for me?

Trarre più vantaggio dai propri soldi
To get more bang for one's buck
Going shopping when it's sale-time means getting more bang for few bucks.


Un tirchio, uno attaccato ai soldi, un taccagno

A tightwad, A tight-ass, A tight-arse, A cheapskate
Al's a real tightwad (tight-ass, tight-arse, cheapskate), unwilling to spend money: you won't get a drink out of him!


Una persona onesta

A straight shooter
Bill's a good buddy and he's always been a straight shooter: he gave me some good advice when I was breaking up with my girlfriend.

Riduzioni economiche, tagli
Nip and tuck
The Government announced a series of nips and tucks in order to help the economy.

Chiedere soldi
To put the bite on someone
The poor man was putting the bite on everyone, by entering the booths and not leaving them till they gave him some money.




Uno tipicamente americano

As American as apple pie
He's as American as apple pie: he looks so yankee, talks in slang and always dresses in jeans and boots!

Una persona qualunque
A Joe Blow, An "average Joe"
Greg is really a self-made man: before scaling up the company, he was the Joe Blow (the "average Joe") of the group, that's why he's still so sincere and direct.

Uno capace di fare bene solo una cosa

A one trick pony
Albert studies over and over again, doin' anything else... he's a real one trick pony!



A "fresh off the boat", a F.O.B.
Chang is very different... so F.O.B., you think? I wonder what country he's from?


Uno che non vale due soldi, un imbroglione

A two-bit swindler
Pay attention when you go shopping in the inner city: it's full of two-bit swindlers.


Uno zozzone, un lercio

A litterbug
You litterbug! The room is a pigpen... when are you going to clean it?


Uno con la testa fra le nuvole

A space cadet
Joe's a real space cadet, always out of touch with reality... I don't think he even knows what he's doing!


Uno stupido

A ditzbag, A airhead, A jackass, A moron
What do I make of him? I think he's a ditzbag (an airhead, a moron), behaving like such jackass!

Uno un pò scemo
Two vouchers short of a pop-up toaster
He's so strange: I think he's two vouchers short of a pop-up toaster.

Un indolente
No ball of fire
It's a shame: he's so intelligent but, no ball of fire!

Una persona imprevedibile
A wild card
It's impossible to arrange something with him: he's a wild card.

Una persona rude, un provinciale
A hick, A hillbilly
Your buddy is a real hick (a hillbilly)... he sounds so rough and ignorant in city life

Un pazzo, svitato
As mad as a hornet
When he's plastered he's as mad as a hornet.


Uno svitato, fuori di testa

Off-center, screwball
The group is getting boring... so, Dave's crazy and off-center attitude is welcome!
No, thanx... that screwball plan won't work.

Una persona con la testa per aria, uno che cade sempre dalle nuvole

A space cadet
Tricia's a space cadet: she forgets something everyday; she's out of touch with facts and reality!


Uno del centro-sud cattolico

One from the "Bible Belt"
Being brought up in the Bible Belt, she had a traditional Christian education.

Una persona scorretta
A schmuck
I don't rely on him: he's such a schmuck!


La ragazza del momento

A squeeze
Betty? She’s not the girl of my life but I spend my weekends with her anyway… she’s just a squeeze.

Una ragazza a cui piace divertirsi, superficiale

A fly girl
Sharon's a pretty fashionable girl who loves amusing stuff and goin' to the parties... she's a real fly girl!


Una donna poco seria

A tramp
She's a tramp... she goes with a different man every night!



American English - British English      (British English) 


Unit apartment (flat)

Roomer (lodger, tenant)

Elevator (lift)

Piano di una casa
Story, Floor (Storey, floor)

Living room (sitting room, living room, lounge)

Persiana per finestra
Shade (blind)

Tende leggere
Sheers (net curtains)

Drapes (curtains)

Yard (garden)

il "pollice verde"
Green thumb (green fingers)

Recinto per animali
Texas gate (cattle grid)

Pantry (larder)

Closet (wardrobe)

Mobile a cassettone
Bureau, Dresser (chest of drawers)

Ciuccio per bambino
Pacifier (dummy)

Stroller, Baby-buggy (pushchair)

Spoletta, rocchetto per filo
Spool (cotton reel, spool)

Piumone da letto
Comforter (eiderdown, quilt, duvet)

Spina elettrica
Outlet, Socket (socket, point)

Tube (valve)

Vacuum cleaner (hoover, vacuum cleaner)

Wash (face flannel)

Wall to wall (fitted carpet)

Blocco note
Scratch pad (note pad)

Gomma per cancellare
Eraser (rubber)

Water heater (boiler)

Faucet (tap)

Antenna (aerial)

Roba domestica
Housewares (hardware)

Casa bifamiliare
Duplex (semi-detached)

Garbage, Trash (rubbish)

Bidone per la spazzatura
Trashcan (dustbin)

Restroom (toilet)

Sewer pipe (drain)



Cucina, macchina a gas
Stove (cooker, oven)

Lavare i piatti
To do the dishes (to wash up, to do the dishes)

Pezzo di carne da cuocere
Roast (joint of meat)

Meat grinder (mincer)

Carne tritata
Hamburger meat (mince)

Bacon Slice, Bacon (rasher)

Aringa affumicata
Smoked herring (kipper)

Lima bean (broad bean)

Uva sultanina
Raisin (sultana, raisin)

Biscotti secchi, gallette
Soda cracker, Cracker (cream cracker)

Sherbet (sorbet)

Eggplant (aubergine)

Endive (chicory)

Nocciolo di frutta
Pit (stone)

Pitcher (jug)

Popsicle (ice lolly)

Zucchero a velo
Powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Un drink "liscio", senza ghiaccio
Straight (neat)

Liquor (Spirits)

American and Irish: Whiskey (British: whisky)



Sweater (jumper)

Vest (waistcoat)

Derby (bowler, hard hat)

Pants (trousers, slacks)

Suspenders (braces)

Risvolto dei pantaloni
Cuff (turn-up)

Undershirt (vest)

Biancheria intima
Underwear (smalls, underwear)

Mutande da uomo, pantaloncini
Boxer shorts, Underpants, Tightie whities (pants)

Bottone automatico a pressione
Snaps (press studs)

Lacci da scape
Shoestring (shoelace)

Tuta da lavoro
Overalls (dungarees, overalls)

Bathrobe (dressing gown/bath robe)



Account (bill)

Buck (dollar)

Bill, greenback (bank note, note)

Billfold (wallet)

Fondo d'investimento
Mutual fund (unit trust)

Pagamento a rate
Time payment, instalment (hire purchase)



Auto tipo "berlina"
Sedan (saloon car)

Automobile familiare, giardinetta
Station wagon (estate car)

Truck (lorry)

Mobile home (caravan, trailer)

Gas (petrol)

Gas station (petrol station)

Freeway, highway (motorway)

Divided highway (dual carriageway)

Stoplights (traffic lights)

Rotatoria stradale
Traffic circle (roundabout)

Corsia (area) d'emergenza
Pull-off (lay-by)

Superare un veicolo
To pass (to overtake)

Leva del cambio
Gear shift (gear stick)

Hood (bonnet)

Muffler (silencer)

Coppa dell'olio
Oil pan (sump)



Il centro di una città
Down town (centre)

Subway (tube)

Trolley car (tram, tram-car)

Cabina telefonica
Booth, Phone booth, Phone (payphone kiosk, telephone box)

Movie house (cinema, pictures)

Newsdealer (newsagent)

Jewelry (jewellery)

Liquor store (Off licence)

Scuola pubblica
Public School (State School; in Britain a 'Public School' is a private school)

Reception d'albergo
Front desk (reception)

Pharmacy, drugstore (chemist)

Negozio di tessuti
Drygoods store (draper)

Discarica di rifiuti
Dump (tip, dump)

Hardware store (ironmonger, hardware shop)

Negozio di dolciumi
Candy store (sweet shop)

Wharf, pier (quay, pier)



Periodo scolastico
Semester (term)

Corpo insegnante
Faculty (staff)

Studente di liceo
Freshman (1st year undergraduate)

Studente di liceo
Sophomore (2nd year undergraduate)

Studente di liceo
Junior (3rd year undergraduate)

Studente di liceo
Senior (4th year undergraduate)

Scuola superiore
College, after 12 years of schooling (college, after the age of 16)



Howdy! (Hi!)

Vacation (holiday)

Giorno di vacanza (di calendario)
Legal holiday (bank holiday)

Fare un prenotazione
To make a reservation (to book)

Biglietto d'andata
One way ticket (single ticket)

Biglietto andata e ritorno
Round trip ticket, two way ticket (return ticket)

Montagne russe
Roller coaster (big dipper, roller coaster)

Movie (film)

Balconata (teatro)
Balcony (gallery, balcony)

Intermission (interval)

Esteticamente brutto, brutta
Homely (ugly)

La "pelle d'oca"
Goose bumps (goose pimples, bumps)

Mettere incinta una donna
To knock up (make pregnant)

Rubber (condom)

Shot (injection)

Coda d'attesa
Line (queue)

Mettersi in fila, in attesa
Line up (queue)

Mail (post)

Mailman (postman)

Wire (telegram)

Pacco da spedire
Package (parcel)

Presidente d'azienda
President (chairman, director)

Agente immobiliare
Realtor (estate agent)

Tramp, slut, hooker (whore, tart)

Attorney, lawyer (solicitor, lawyer)

Poliziotto, piedipiatti
Cop (Copper, bobby, pig, silth)

Servizio militare, leva
Draft (conscription)



Go To Home Page

Mainly American Expressions
Social Life
Doing Things
Working And Money
Social Types
American English Dictionary
At Home
In the Kitchen, Eating And Drinking
Around The Town, Shops And Places
Social Life And Professions


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