Social Speaking
Commonly Used Exclamations And Phrases
Meaningful "Short-Y-Words"


T  A  L  K  I  N  G

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




Rompere il ghiaccio, iniziare una conversazione

To break the ice
I was a bit embarrassed to talk to her, but somebody had to break the ice.


Fare due chiacchiere
To catch up with the gossip
Let's have some tea and catch up with the gossip!


Essere in una viva discussione
To be involved in argy-bargy
After the football match, there was a lot of argy-bargy amongst the fans, with shouting and fighting.


Parlare chiaro
Not to mince one's words
Mary told him exactly what she thought... she doesn't mince her words.


Non aver peli sulla lingua
To be very outspoken
I like Frank's way of discussing things! You will never misunderstand him: he is very outspoken!


Parlare male di qualcuno

To dish the dirt
Mike's dishing the dirt on Amanda… he’s telling people unkind things about her private life!


Aggredire verbalmente

To tear into someone (to savage somebody verbally)
When their manager is annoyed with somebody, he really tears into them (he savages them verbally).


Manipolare le parole senza cambiare il significato
A turn of phrase
Calling the exhibition "quite interesting" was a diplomatic turn of phrase, so as not to offend the artists.


Parlare in modo affettato
To mince one's words
Cindy minces her words so much that I understand nothing at all.


Parlare con eccitazione del passato
To wax lyrical
My grandfather loved waxing lyrical about his youth.


Se non è zuppa è pan bagnato
It's six of one and half a dozen of the other
We tried the motorway and the main road: the some time...  it's six of one and half a dozen of the other!
She's not very intelligent, but not that stupid either... you know: it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.


Parlare nel momento sbagliato
To talk out of turn
She's a lovely pretty girl, but unfortunately she's always talking out of turn!


Non riuscire ad aprire bocca
Not to get a word in edgeways
The old customer was complaining with such force that the shop assistant could not get a word in edgeways.


Farsi scappare una parola di troppo

To spill the beans
Come on, tell me the gossip... spill the beans!


Non saper tenere la bocca chiusa
To have a big mouth
I never would tell a secret to Sheila: she has a really big mouth!


Tenere l'acqua in bocca
Mum's the word
Please remember that what I told you is a secret! Mum's the word!


Parlare poco, aver perso la lingua
The cat has got one's tongue
You haven't said a single word about yesterday... it seems that the cat's got your tongue!


Nicchiare nel rispondere
Hum and haw
Don't hum and haw... I know it was you who made her start crying!


Girare intorno ad un concetto prima di esprimerlo

Hum and haw
Ted hummed and hawed and finally confessed his love for Mary.

Rimanere ammutoliti

Don't stay tongue-tied this way! You'd better get a broom and help me with the cleaning!


Parlare ironicamente
To say something tongue in cheek
I said it tongue in cheek... so, don't get offended!


Parlare tra il serio ed il faceto
To speak half-serious
I don't like to speak with Sally: she's only ever half-serious.


Dire sciocchezze

To talk bollocks, to talk rubbish
Forget Jimmy: he's always talking bollocks! (talking rubbish!)


Parlare male di qualcuno,  dire alle spalle cose non vere

To bad mouth
I can't believe what Brenda said... she’s bad-mouthing me!... She's probably jealous of me.!


Perdere il filo del discorso
To lose the thread of someone's argument
Could you kindly repeat it once more? I confess I lost the thread of your argument.


Una cosa detta per scherzo, che potrebbe succedere
There's many a true word spoken in jest
Stop joking about getting the sack! You know there's many a true word spoken in jest!


Qualcosa che la dice lunga
To speak volumes
The rude way she replied to your objection spoke volumes about her faults.


Qualcosa che vale per tutti, tutti inclusi senza distinzione

Across the board
The company decided to give the workers an across-the-board increase in their salary. 


Completamente, in tutto e per tutto, tutto compreso

Lock, stock and barrel
Forget about Lisa: she moves lock, stock and barrel back to London!
Sometimes it's cheaper to buy lock,stock and barrel.
The burglar broke in through a window and emptied the whole house.


Un flusso narrativo straripante e inarrestabile

A stream of consciousness (credited to William James and to James Joyce)
He was an old writer and devoted his life to quality journalism, so he started drinking and telling me about the past in a stream-of-consciousness way.





Caspita! Accidenti!

Blimey! Crikey!
Blimey! You look so well tonight: what a stunner!


Oh caspita!
Sugar! (shit!)
Sugar! The man who crashed into Sally's car has turned tail!


Mio Dio!
God almighty! (Christ almighty! almighty!)
Such a long time has passed... God almighty! (Christ almighty! Almighty!) I didn't recognise you at all!


Eccoci, ecco qui, ecco fatto...

Here you go (here you are)
"Here you go... two salads, a steak and three pops."
"Sam, could you pass me the class register?" - "Here you are."


Esatto, Proprio così!

(be) bang on
Do you mean 'stop and have a break'? Bang on! That's what we need now... too much study...
"So... is my answer right?" - "Oh yes: absolutely Bang on!"


Quali nuove?
What's occurring?
So Jane, what's occurring in your life? You disappeared into thin air!


Che fine hai fatto?
Whatever became of you?
At last Jack! Whatever became of you?


D'accordo, va bene!
Cool bananas!
OK Jo, see you later at the pub! Cool bananas!


Ci sei? Mi capisci?

Get it?
Get it, Mandy? I don't want to talk about it any more!


Cosa hai detto?
Come again?
I beg your pardon, I didn't understand you. Come again?


...che domande!

Is the pope Polish? Is the pope Catholic?
"Frank, you like sushi, don't you?" "Is the pope Polish (is the pope Catholic)? You know I do!"
"Pat, do you think Ben will give Nelly a ring?" "C'mon Dave... is the pope Catholic?"


Mah, sarà... (sarà così, sarà come dici, sarà come dicono...)

Be that as it may
The new car will cost a lot but, be that as it may... we can't go on with that old crock!
I know, his last comedy has been highly praised... be that as it may I didn't like it.


Complessivamente, tutto sommato, nell'insieme

By and large
By and large, the business deal have saved the company.
There are a couple of things I don't like in Marion, but by and large I adore her!
By and large it was a good holiday... even though it was too short.


Tutta un'altra cosa, un'altra "musica", un'altra "storia"

A horse of a different color
You can convince me, but as for Mandy, that's a horse of a different color quite a different matter!


E' ovvio, è chiaro, non occorre neanche parlarne

It goes without saying
OK, Joan, you’re tired…  it goes without saying!
Kylie is nice and efficient so it goes without saying that his boss is very happy with her.
Of course, Wendy… it goes without saying that you'll get money for what you've done...


E dillo, forza..!

Nudge nudge, wink wink
Come on, Harry: you went out with her! Nudge, nudge, wink wink!


Da bravo, dai, sù...

There is a dear
Come on! Move... do that... there's a dear!


Sputare il rospo
To let the cat out of the bag
So, Harry, let the cat out of the bag!


In poche parole
In a nutshell
In a nutshell... I'm against her, I don't like her any more!


Quando mai l'ho detto?
When on earth?
Don't blame me for this! When on earth did I say such a thing?


Non farmi dire quello che non ho detto
To put words into someone's mouth
I never said that! Don't put words in my mouth!


E' così e basta, e questo è quanto

That's that
You can insist on going out, but I won't... I stay home, and that's that!


A rullo, a palate, uno dietro (o dopo) l'altro

Hand over fist
Greg's making money hand over fist, but his luck will cease...
Henry's really clever, but for the time being he's losing money on the stock market hand over fist.
Chinese are opening new shops and business hand over fist.


Nemmeno per sogno!
Not on your life! (to kiss goodbye to something)
Forget about seeing me tonight! Not on your life!... You can kiss goodbye to that!


Te lo puoi sognare! Stai fresco!
Dream on!
Dream on, dream on! I'll never lend you my new car!


My foot!
My foot! You know perfectly well that I don't have such a bad opinion of her!


Dire sciocchezze
Talking bollocks (talking rubbish)
Forget Jimmy: he's always talking bollocks! (talking rubbish!)


Secondo me
In my book
In my book, sweeping generalisations aren't a good way to deal with social arguments.


Falla finita!
Knock it off!
Stop it! Knock off that noise! I've got a bad headache!


Questa è grossa!
That's a bit rich
I've to believe you saw the monster when you were in Lochness.. that's a big rich!


Una barzelletta lunga e stupida
A shaggy dog story
Stop it! I can't stand your shaggy dog stories... they're too silly!


Beccati questo! Piglia, incarta e porta a casa!
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
She called me, and not you! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


Mi prendi in giro?
Make a fool of me?
You hope that I'm so gullible to believe in it... are you making a fool of me?


Mi vuoi far incazzare?
To piss somebody off
You're pissin' me off! You were too rude!


Sloggia! Smamma!
Hop it! (piss off!)
You're too drunk to stay with us... hop it! Piss off!


Ammesso che...
Granted that (given that)
Granted that (given that) you were tanked up with whisky, otherwise you would never have behaved like that at the party.


Mi venisse un accidenti se lo so!
I'll be hanged if I know!
I didn't hear from her such a long time! I'll be hanged if I know her new address! I haven't the faintest idea about it.


Fidati! Dammi retta!
Trust me, I'm a doctor!
Hey, it was only a hint. I'm not trying to make up to you... trust me I am a doctor!


Non mi incanti...
You don't fool me (you don't beguile me)
You can tell me this a thousand times, Meg... you don't fool me! (you don't beguile me!)!


Col cavolo...
My arse (my ass)
My arse! Help him... I'd rather take a bullet!


Datti una svegliata!
Get a grip! (smell the coffee!)
Are you sleeping or what?.. Get a grip! Smell the coffee!


Snap out of it!
Snap out of it! You're keeping your head in the clouds, like a dreamer


To get one's skates on (shake a leg)
Get your skates on, Cindy! Shake a leg! There's no time left!


Hurry up! (snap up)
Come on: it is very late! Hurry up! ...make it snappy!


Sii gentile!
Be a sport!
Be a sport, Henry: let's give her a lift!


Razza di zuccone!
Block head!
Turn at the next right: my house is always there, you block head!


Rompiscatole, rompipalle
A pain in the neck (a pain in the arse)
I can't stand you, John! You're a real pain in the neck! (in the arse!)


Comportati bene!
Behave yourself!
You have to go now: it's getting late! Behave yourself and say "hi" to the guys!


Go to it! (go for it)
Go to it, Frank! You are doing a good job, but now you have to finish it! Go for it!


Datti da fare!
Get on with it!
There's a lot to do... come on man! Get on with it!


Bello sforzo!
Big deal! (not to strain oneself)
After doing nothing for the whole week, you cleaned the kitchen this morning: big deal! Don't strain yourself!


Beato te!
You lucky beggar!
You never stop complaining about destiny! As chance would have it, you met her... you lucky beggar!


Fare i conti...
To deal with somebody
You are an idler, Jack! You haven't done anything! I shall deal with you later!


Questa volta non te la cavi...
Not to get away with
This time you really don't have excuses: you'll not get away with just a severe lecture!


Fai pure, non ci sono problemi...

Be my guest (feel free)
'Sandy, do you mind if I look at your notes?' - 'Be my guest! Feel free...'


Senza capo né coda

Without rhyme or reason
I can't understand him: there's no rhyme or reason to his behaviour.


Girala come ti pare, come preferisci
Look at it whichever way you like
Look at it whichever way you like, you made me wait all night long without calling me.


Questa volta pago io, questo è il mio turno
This is my shout
This is my shout, no discussions about it!


Ci giurerei...
I'd swear on it
It's your fault: you forgot the keys in the car.. I'd swear on it!


Maledizione! Al diavolo!
Stuff it! (sod it! dash it!)
Stuff it! I left my wallet at home! Sod it! Dash it!


Shame on you!
After I left you alone, this house is like a pigsty! Shame on you!


Così proprio non va!
It's just not on!
You have to plug away at your homework: your laziness it's just not on!


Falla finita!
Cut it out!
Stop complaining and snivelling like that! Cut it out!


Quel che è peggio...
What's more
This is only part of the story; what's more is that he confessed to being in love with her before throwing all her stuff out of the window!


Poco male
It doesn't matter (never mind)
I know they didn't enjoy the dinner party.. it doesn't matter (never mind): it really went with a bang!


Senti da che pulpito...
The pot calling the kettle black (practice what you preach)
Are you telling me how to do it?! You?! That's the pot calling the kettle black! (practice what you preach!)


Avere il buon senso di dire
To have the wit to say something
After what happened, you even didn't say "I'm sorry!" You hadn't the wit to say so.


Non fare casino!
Don't make such a row
Stop it! Don't make such a row: I want to sleep!


Zitto! Zitti!
Cut the cackle (keep the noise down)
Cut the cackle, guys: we are in a library! Keep it quiet! (keep the noise down!)


Ma a cosa starai mai pensando!
A penny for your thoughts
A penny for your thoughts, Emma! Are you dreaming? What are you thinking about?!


Non me ne importa un tubo!
Not to give a hoot (not to give a shit)
I argued with her all the night long, and then we parted... but now I don't really give a hoot! (I don't really give a shit!)


E chi se ne importa! Fatti suoi (fatti loro)
It's no skin off my nose! (hard cheese! tough luck!)
She shouted for half an hour and then she went out slamming the door... that's no skin off my nose! (Hard cheese! Tough luck!)


Nonostante tutto
Against all the odds
Janet had a difficult year, however, she managed, against all the odds, to pass her exams with flying colours.


Prendilo per certo
Take it as read
Our team is going to win the championship, take it as read.


Non ci sono ma che tengono..
No buts about something
You and Sally have to come to the sunday BBQ! no buts about it!


Siediti, sedetevi
Take a pew
Be my guest, relax and take a pew: we've a lot to talk about!


Io prendo, per me... (quando si fanno ordinazioni)

I plump for
No spirits for me, thank you: I plump for a ginger ale.


Eccoci, ecco qui, ecco fatto...

Here you go (here you are)
"Here you go... two salads, a steak and three pops."
"Sam, could you pass me the class register?" - "Here you are."

Lo stesso anche per me

Ditto for me
So, you've asked an ice cream... ditto for me.


Nonostante, sebbene, anche se

In spite of / despite / although, even though (Talking))

In spite of and despite (followed by a noun, a pronoun, a gerund - despite is followed by the ‘of’, despite not)
We enjoyed the holiday in spite of the bad weather.
Despite being overqualified, Casey didn’t get the job.
Despite the bad flu  Nick completed the game.

In spite of (using the expression ‘the fact that’)
In spite of the fact that he worked hard, Dan didn’t manage to get a raise!
Although (followed by a subject and a verb)
Although the city was crowded, tourists were able to enjoy its special atmosphere.
Although Dan worked very hard, he didn’t manage to get a money raise.
The holiday was great although the Quality, costs and services were not good enough.

Even though (a stronger form of although, followed by a subject and a verb - like although)
The Green's decided to buy the farm even though they didn’t have enough time to get there.
Ed... you keep making noise even though I have asked you to stop!






I don't mind what I talk about with the group at the hang out: it's breezy company.


Allegro e attivo
The barbecue we had last night was a success: the food was tasty and your new friends so chirpy!


You're so witty: you always know the best way to focus and remark upon the facts in a brilliant way.


You'll never be bored when Jason join the group: he is a very chummy person.


Originale, sorprendente
Wow! That club was so trendy and zany! You had a great idea!


He owes a lot of his success to his savvy way with people.


Scaltro, astuto

Ed's clever at getting what he wants, so willing to trick people, so cunning... he's wily old fox!


He is so cagey: he started to humming and hawing, avoiding telling me which way he engaged his girlfriend


After you got that new job you started getting above yourself and behaving all hoity-toity!


He's so original and funny: really a quirky one.


Do you know that batty old lady down the street?


Sorpassato, old-fashioned
He's so dowdy, dressing in that old crumpled grey suit all the time.


Sorpassato (nelle idee, nel vestire)
You'll never be able to bring her to that modern exhibition: she's such a fuddy-duddy.


Conservatore, formale
I cannot stand more than an hour of the stuffy atmosphere of our club... it's too formal.


The old man was sternly traditionalist.


Privo di carattere
She loves him, even if she goes on at him for being such a big softy with other people.


Don't be silly: stop joking and check out our train's platform!


I think he is loopy: he had a car crash whilst calling a friend on his cell-phone!


I can't rely on him, so the fact you trusted all his foolish stories of incredible bargains sounds dodgy.


Smorto, scialbo
Sheila didn't look healthy... her face was pasty, colourless.


Allegra e attraente (femminile)
You should believe me: she's so pretty, energetic and bubbly!


Sensuale e attraente
Oh, just look at the way she walks: she looks like an actress... she's so sassy!


Sally confessed me that your proposal to have a naked moonlight swim in the lake was too cheeky.


Agitato, temporaneamente confuso
I'm in such a tizzy and feeling so confused that I can't think straight about things you said.


I always feel edgy before starting a journey.


She had only fidgety pupils at school, who never focused on their lessons.


Andar pazzo per qualcosa
(be) Nutty
I'm nutty about the last film you suggested! It's definitely a masterpiece.


To be honest, your new friend from Vegas is really racy: she's full of beans and very sexy as well!


Sessualmente eccitante, pruriginoso
I couldn't believe how kinky she was: she asked me to kiss her passionately in the middle of the crowd because she found it too exciting!


You know, he conquered her by writing a series of love slushy poems.


She didn't believe in his sincerity: he was too schmaltzy when courting her.


Don't go making any hasty decisions which you might regret later.


Coraggioso, che ha fegato
The gutsy cab driver got out of the car and challenged the lorry driver who crashed into him.


Indeciso, tentennante
She's making fun of him, replying with a shilly-shally "may be, may be not" to his proposal


I'm a bit chary of believing in your excuses because you're too sly.


Goffo, alto e sgraziato
He's so gawky when he tries to get out of his tiny car: it's much too small for him.


Pesante, grasso

Oh Joan... you'll never lose weight eating such a stodgy food!


Serioso, formale, noioso, pesante

I really don't like Ned: he's so boring and formal, so old-fashioned, so... stodgy!


You cannot talk to him about the flop of the party: he's so prickly, thinking that what happened was his fault.


I cannot get over how touchy she is: you can never criticise her.


The teacher lessons are very interesting but, the details he gives are too lengthy.


Imbronciato, scontroso
I'm not able to change his sulky mood so, I'm starting to think that he's antisocial.


We never want to have Bill with us: he's so aggressive and surly, he looks like a sullen old man.


Have you seen that guy's suit? He's such a natty dresser!


Agghindato, alla moda
I notice that she always dresses in a very stylish and snazzy way... very trendy!


Vestito attillato, aderente
Clara was stunning at the College dinner, with that gauzy dress!


Blimey! Have you seen how skinny she is? I've seen more fat on a chip!


Podgy, chubby
It's such a shame that one sees so many podgy (chubby) children these days.


Pulito ordinato
I love that cottage: everything is so neat and tidy there.


Sporco (inaccettabile)
The toilet is so grubby: you've to clean it up! (I can't stand your way: you're only motivated by grubby selfishness)


Trascurato, negletto
The blokes that work with her are all nice, but they're a bunch of scruffy gits, in their shorts and socks!


Di scarso valore
She gets paid really badly at the fast-food: such a paltry sum of money!


Di ampio valore
Pay attention: you are wasting time and a hefty sum of money going out with Lisa!


Tanti soldi
Lucky you! You make a tidy penny out of the sales from your shop.


Stingy, penny pincher
John never offered even a cup of tea all the time we went out: he is so stingy! A penny pincher!


Sciatto e trasandato
I can't stand that barman: he is so dirty and dowdy.. I couldn't drink even a beer there!


Di cattivo gusto
Have you seen the horrible gold and marble furniture that they have in their house? It's so tacky!


Brutto, trascurato
The hotel is completely different from what I saw on its homepage where it looks wonderful, but instead it's so grotty!


Trasandato, in cattive condizioni
The guest house's rooms and its old receptionist were so untidy, so tatty.


Don't ask that girl to do anything complicated: she's too dopey.


Poor Carlito: he was so drowsy that he could hardly keep his eyes open.


Too much alcohol and cigarettes last night... I'm so groggy this morning.


Praticamente, piuttosto, alquanto

That's pretty much the some... can't you see that?
This car's pretty expensive, Mandy... are you sure you can afford it?
Messing with a stray dog at dead of night can be a pretty risky undertaking.





Go To Home Page

Social Speaking
Commonly Used Phrases


the web the site