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Italian expressions related to "animals"

Level B2

Ciao a tutti!

A new episode of Italian expressions, this time related to animals. Italians, actually makes also a lot of similitudes with animals! let's discover them.


- Essere matto come un cavallo: Literally means "to be crazy like an horse", it is used to say that someone is a crazy person or when he/she is doing or about to do something crazy. We use this expression because of the capricious nature of an unbroken horse can be related to a crazy act made by a human.

The corrispettive in english is:"as mad as a hatter". Ex: Salvador Dalì era un  genio, ma anche matto come un cavallo.

Salvador Dalì was a genius, but also as mad as a hatter. -Avere una fame da lupi: literally means " be hungry like wolves".It is used when a person is really hungry, almost drooling from hunger. Ex: Andiamo a mangiare qualcosa?Si!ho una fame da lupi!

Are we going to eat something? Yes! I'm really hungry !

- Essere lento come una lumaca:Used when someone is really slow in doing something ( because you not able to organize yourself or because of the lazy nature), literally means "be slow as a snail". Ex: Sbrigati a prepararti, il cinema sta per cominciare, se proprio lento come una lumaca!

Hurry up to get ready, the cinema is about to begin, you move like a snail!

- Essere un coniglio: literally means "to be a rabbit", used when saying to a person that is a coward, easy to scare. Ex: Hai paura di questo piccolo insetto? Sei proprio un coniglio.

Are you afraid of this little insect? You really are a coward (or a chicken in the english corrispective).

- Essere una vecchia volpe:  used when saying that someone is smart, clever and sly. Literally is: to be like and old fox". The corrispective in english is "to be a sly fox","a cunning old fox". Ex: Stai attento a quel venditore, è una vecchia volpe.

Be careful of that seller, it's a sly fox.

- Avere una memoria da elefante: used to say when someone has an impressive memory, literally to "have a memory like an elephant". As you may know scientist has declared that elephant have a really strong long term memory, so if someone has a memory like an elephant it is an amazing thing for sure! Ex: Come fai a ricordarti tutte queste cose che abbiamo fatto in passato? Hai una memoria da elefante!

How do you do to remember all these things we do in the past? You have an elephant memory!


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Animals and Italian food, a perfect match!


If you want to practice this new italian expressions, you can try to do the exercise at the bottom of the page. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any question, please leave a comment below!

Grazie, G.


ESERCIZIO:Complete the sentences using the correct expression.

1 A: Quanto hai pagato quella borsa?

B: Solo 40 euro!

A: Poco! Sei proprio una ____________________ .


2 A pranzo non ho mangiato molto e adesso che è ora di cena ho __________________ .

3 Dopo tanti anni mi ricordo ancora quello che mi raccontava la nonna. Ho _______________ .


4 Luigi è _______________ ! Ogni volta che vado in macchina con lui, non si ferma ai semafori.


5 A: Domani non voglio fare andare a scuola, perchè non ho fatto i compiti! B: No devi andarci, altrimenti sei ________________ !


6 Maria la mattina fa sempre tardi a scuola, ci mette un'ora per preparasi: è _______________ .



Solutions: 1) vecchia volpe 2) una fame da lupi 3) una memoria da elefante 4) matto come un cavallo

5) un coniglio 6) lenta come una lumaca.

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