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Andare a compromessi, accettare un accordo, una via di mezzo

To meet somebody halfway
The young actress decided to meet the producer halfway, and accepted his cheeky invitation.
Ed, if you really want to improve your relationship with Mandy you should do some of the things that she asks you it's an intelligent compromise: you have to meet me halfway!
Sheila was tired, but decided it would be better to meet Harry halfway and helped him finish his walk over.


Sgomitare, forzare, farsi spazio con forza

To muscle (something) into; To shove through (out); To jostle; To  elbow (one's way) through
Tom had to muscle his baggage into the corridor.
Elia is attempting to muscle in on the Chinese wine business.
A group of hooligans shoved
through the crowd.
The bouncer shoved me out of the Club's entrance.
Greg made his way by jostling through the guests to the bar.
The poket picker elbowed his way through passengers.
Mandy elbowed her way through the crowd.


Essere fortunati, avere culo

To get all the breaks
Ed's great... he's been working here only few weeks and he's already been promoted! He gets all the breaks!

Montarsi la testa

To have / To get a swelled head
Lisa got a swelled head after he won the prize.
Charly uses flattering with gals, but he give them a swollen head becaouse of too many compliments.


Impazzire, uscire di testa

to go round the bend
If I'd stayed with Connie any longer I'd have gone round the bend: she's crazy!


Tenere a freno

to keep a curb
Please, Jo... keep a curb on your temper! You'll spoil the atmosphere.

Essere sotto l'effetto di droghe

to be ripped
Frank was totally ripped at the party of Terry: he never replird to me.

Isolarsi, stare per conto proprio

(to be, keep, remain, stay) aloof
Sheila tends to keep aloof from the rest of the group.
Ed's a shy guy, he stays aloof from other collegues between meetings.

Una schifezza, uno schifo

(to be) the pits
This town is the pits... so miserable!

Garantire, farsi garante

To vouch on somebody (Phrasal verb)
I can vouch for Ed's honesty. I've known him for years.

Sparlare su qualcuno

To tattle on somebody (Phrasal verb)
Ed, are you going to tattle on me to the teacher?... please don't tattle on me!

Migliorare, progredire, evolvere

To shape up (Phrasal verb)
Watching Dan dancing your can see his style is shaping up well.
This candidate is shaping up to be the campaign's winner.
Human rights are shaping up as a major issue for the media.

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!

Adattare, riarrangiare, trasformare

To set something to something (Phrasal verb)
Give me a shopping list and I will set it to music! (G.Rossini)
Ed, you have to set the partition to 15 or 16 gb... hopefully it will work well!

Ma che cappero stai facendo? Ma di cosa stai parlando?

Watchadoin (American English)
Watchadoin Steve...? Let's  talk about the fun and cool !

Immediatamente, subito, al volo

(right) off the bat (American English)
The detective could tell right off the bat  there was something suspicious about that man.

Abile, competente, esperto

Savvy (meaningful "y" words)
As soon as my tech-savvy friends adopt and recommend a new computing tool, I go out and get it too!

Far crescere, incrementare

To ratchet up (Phrasal verb)
The media are ratcheting up the rhetoric to join the sweeping attacks on unionism.
The  campaign was ratcheting up expectations too high.

Non mantenere promesse fatte, rompere gli impegni presi

To rat on something (Phrasal verb)
Ted? He's so dodgy...he always rats on his promises!

Tradire, fare una soffiata

To rat somebody out, to rat on somebody (Phrasal verb)
Ther drug dealer was popped by cops after a tipster ratted him out.
Confederates were encouraged to rat on each other.

Cercare nervosamente

To rat through (Phrasal verb)
I came back home to find Sally ratting through my papers.
Jimmy ratted through the the stuff on the desk but couldn't find the report.

Un pochino, appena, un tantino

Some (American English)
'So... are you feeling better today?' - 'Some, I guess..!'

Fare qualsiasi cosa per ottenere un risultato

To move heaven and earth
Dan is mad: He's moving heaven and earth to go out with Sally!

Essere ad un passo da qualcosa o qualcuno, ad un millimetro

(to be) in hot pursuit
The pickpocket fled from the scene with the police in hot pursuit.
The journalists set off in hot pursuit of the facts.

Boriarsi, vantarsi, pavoneggiarsi

To toot one's own horn, to blow one's own horn (Social)
See Frank... there he goes again tooting his own horn!
I don't like to blow my own horn but... I am always right.

Diventare inconsapevoli, non essere coscienti

To be out cold, out for the count; out like a light (Human)
After a glass of wine Wendy was out cold.
Ami, please... don't call him; he's out like a light every night at the pub!
As the drunk drove into a wall he was out for the count!


Tirare avanti, resistere, sopravvivere

To keep going
Tom tried to keep going, continuing to do things in the some way.
Rosa's words were the only thing that kept Robert going, giving him enough hope and emotional strength to continue living.


Nascondere, tenere segreto

To keep by oneself (Phrasal verb)
Ed still thanks to Bruce to share his valuable experience instead of just keeping by himself!
Frank knew that Emma was having problems, even if she had kept it to herself.

Lucidare, riportare alla lucentezza

To buff something up, to buff up someething (Phrasal verb)
Dan's old car looked better after he buffed it up.
Ted gave Fiona many tips and tricks to buff up her skills.


Respingere, far allontanare

To drive away somebody, to drive someboedy away  (Phrasal verb)
The dog was bugging Manda, so she shouted to drive him away.
Tourists were driven away from the coast by the pollution.


Bloccare, impedire, inibire

To hem somebody in  (Phrasal verb)
Geena was hemmed in by prejudices.
Gate-crashers were hemmed in by controllers.


Colpire, abbattere

To strike down (Phrasal verb)
The famous rock star was struck down by AIDS.


Puntare i piedi, prendere fermamente una posizione precisa

To take a stand
Martin Luther King took a stand for civil rights.
The Prime Minister's decision to take a stand against workers was a political failure.
The demonstrators took a stand against the government.


Armonizzare, andare all'unisono

To chime in with (Phrasal verb)
Gwen's opinions normally chime in with my points of view.

Una ragazza scialba, non attraente

A plain Jane
If Fiona'd been a plain Jane, she wouldn't have had all Marc's attention!

Una persona con la puzza sotto il naso

A toffee-nosed
Jill thinks that she's better than other people: she's a toffee-nosed aristocrat!
Sheila refused the invitation to the party... she got all toffee nosed about it!

Cercare con difficoltà

To scratch around for something (Phrasal verb)
A lot of people are scratching around for a better place where to live.

Compensare, controbilanciare

To cancel out (Phrasal verb)
Andrew's intuition cancels out his inexperience.


Placare, appianare

To smooth over (Phrasal verb)
Al tried to smooth things over between Mary and Marc, talking with them to make their clash less serious.


Appassionare, eccitare (passivo)

To kindle by (Phrasal verb)
Brenda's imagination was kindled by the tales Marcus told her.

Disgustare, irritare

To gross somebody out (Phrasal verb)
That bad film really grossed me out!
Dan's dirty hair grossed Lisa out.

Viaggiare con poche idee e pochi soldi

To bum around (Phrasal verb)
After completed the studies Ned spent months bumming around the South America with no plans and little money.

Un istrione, un cantastorie

Ted is a grandstander: he brags to everyone about how attractive his girlfriends were.

Un amico simpatico, socievole

A good-time Charlie
Dan’s a typical good-time Charlie, always ready for friends and good beer.


Brutto (from the fairy tale by the Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen, 1843)

Ugly duckling
Sheila was an ugly duckling when she was a child, until she grew up and became more feminine.
Debbie was an ugly duckling, but after an unpromising beginning blossomed beautifully.

Lasciare, abbandonare, scaricare

To leave somebody flat
When Ed met Alice, he left Brenda flat  hoping someone else hoping someone else would join her.
The leader walked off and left the whole group flat.


Evitare, aggirare, eludere

To skirt around somebody, to skirt around something (Phrasal verb)
...bewildering! Mandy talked at me for hours skirting around her real feelings.
The prime minister tried to skirt around many of the moot points, battling to distance himself from the crisis.
The commission had skirted around the concept of a free community.


Un'arma infallibile

A silver bullet
It seems that there's no silver bullet that will solve the crisis.


Vantarsi, essere boriosi

To plume oneself on something (Phrasal verb)
Ed plummed himself on dancing with Fiona.
Dan plummed himself on his winning project.


Essere fortunati, avere culo

To get all the breaks
Ed's great... he's been working here only few weeks and he's already been promoted! He gets all the breaks!


Fare qualcosa senza pensarci troppo, far così come viene

On the fly
Emma's the sort of person who decides things on the fly rather thinking


Svignarsela, levarsi di torno alla svelta

To take a powder (American English)
When the thief saw the police coming he took a powder.


Giustificarsi con scuse non credibili, inventare delle balle

To pitch somebody a line (American English)
...Sally never arrived and pitched me a line about a block in the traffic!


Condizioni di vita molto favorevoli, opulente

On easy street, in fat city (American English)
You're so lucky, Dave: with the new business you'll be on easy street!
If the new contract is eventually accepted, Ted will be in fat city!


Una persona determinata, un tipo tosto

A tough cookie (American English)
...Steve, please, don't get Dana upset... she's a tough cookie!


Un successo sfiorato, qualcosa non concretizzato per un pelo

Close but no cigar (American English)
Ted was not so lucky: never got the big success he desired... always close but no cigar.
"Tourist?" - "Not exactly, I am a traveller... close but not cigar!"


Sì, buonanotte! Beato chi ci crede!

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


Appioppare, affibbiare, scaricare

To thrust someone on/upon somebody, to thrust something on/upon somebody (Phrasal verb)
Did you see... Brian was trying to thrust his boring sister upon me!
Sheila never enjoyed the nickname of grinder that was thrust upon her.
The class thrust the responsibility upon the leader.


Presagi negativi

The writing (is) on the wall (for), the handwriting (is) on the wall (for)
After the scandal broke out the handwriting is on the wall for the Prime Minister…


L'inizio della fine, il segno di una rovina in arrivo

An albatross (around somebody's neck) (credited to Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Ben's wife is so cruel she’s an albatross around his neck!


Sotto banco, di nascosto (cose illecite)

On the QT
We found out that the dean was receiving money on the QT.
Nobody knows... Ally's trying on the QT to get a visa to enter Canada!


Fare un freddo cane

(to be) as cold as a witch's elbow
...temperature here? Oh, it's cold as a witch's elbow and we expect snow.


Essere ubriachi fradici

(to be) blind drunk
I found Mary blind drunk on the bed with a bottle of rum beside her.


Secondo la massima autorità, in linea con le regole accettate

According to Hoyle (Fred Hoyle was a popular rule book written by Edmond Hoyle, 18th Century)
The Prime Minister said that the situation is critical but under control... all according to Hoyle!


Prendere una tranvata, una sconfitta, uscire perdenti

To take it on the chin
Sean took it on the chin at the semifinal... a defeat that still rankles.


Essere fortunati nella sfortuna

A blessing in disguise
Frank... unlucky? The letter of dismissal was a blessing in disguise: the new job seems to have been made specially for him!


Prendere in giro, prendere per i fondelli

To take the piss (out of somebody)
They're always taking the piss out of Dan because he's very touchy.
"You should go to the disco more often… you such a good dancer!” – “Hey dude… are you taking the piss?”
Ten pounds for this bottle of crappy wine… that’s taking the piss!



Say it by English idioms, let yourself enjoy witty and fun conversations, with Talk It Easy...

 I h N h C h O h M h I h N h G       E h X h P h R h E h S h S h I h O h N h S

an idiom is a phrase or expression that conveys a meaning which has little to do with the actual words expressed.
--- August 2014 ---


 Updated 2012




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