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Italian Insults: #1 Easy Guide For Foreigners

May 12, 2022

On the search for some of the most commonly used Italian insults or have you heard someone say Cagacazzo (dumb)? In today's post, we will walk you through each of the popular ones and give you a full-blown explanation of what it means and when it should only be used. You see, saying curse words has become part of many people's habits, but it does not necessarily mean that they try to offend someone. So here, we will only focus on the common ones and not discuss the rude ones meant to hurt other people.

Italian swear words are on a level of their own with their strong accent and longer forms. In addition, their culture shows that to curse like a real Italian properly, you should use the correct tone, intonation, and gestures to emphasize what you are referring to. But, why exactly do we say these powerful yet vulgar words, right? Do we really mean to harm the feelings of others, or are we simply saying it just because?

Here's what science says:

Swear words and expressions play a huge role in our everyday conversations. More often than not, our main reason for saying such is to express a strong emotional state or signal frustration. However, based on research, swearing using any language you are most comfortable with can help us ease pain, convey our feelings authentically, and relieve ourselves from some emotional tension. So we utter them in almost everything we do.

Italian Swear Words

As you probably noticed, there are also instances wherein the insulting expressions do not directly make use of "bad" words. In cases like this, humans show signs that they are trying their best not to sound offensive or unpleasant by using euphemisms. According to one research, there are practically nine categories of swear words which we usually use on a daily basis:

  • Animal names (ex: monkey, snake, or bitch)
  • Ethnic-racial-gender slurs (ex: nigger or ching chong)
  • Psychological deviations (ex: moron, hoe, or whore)
  • Ancestral allusions (ex: bastard or son of a bitch)
  • Sexual references (sexual parts or acts)
  • Profanity (blasphemous words related to religious beings)
  • Disgusting things (ex: shit, crap, or piss)
  • Vulgar terms (ex: fart face)
  • Offensive slang (ex: suck or fag)


Commonly Used Italian Insults

Below are some of the translations for Italian insults that you have to watch out for:

  • Porca puttana - Bloody hell, damn
  • Vattela a pigliare in culo - Take it up your ass
  • Levati dai coglioni - Get off my balls
  • Attaccati a sto cazzo - Cling to your own cock
  • Vai a morire ammazzato - Go die murdered
  • Va’ a farti fottere - Go screw yourself
  • Sei una sfigata / Sfigato - Loser
  • Vai a quel paese - A jerk
  • Sei un deficiente / Deficiente - You are a moron
  • Sei un rompicoglioni - You are a pain in the ass
  • Sei un cretino / Mammalucco - You are a fool
  • Sei uno stronzo - You are an asshole
  • Sei stupido(a) / Sei scemo(a) / Sei un idiot - You are stupid 
  • Pezzo di merda - Piece of shit
  • Porca troia - Whore
  • Vaffanculo - Fuck you
  • Vai a cacare - Fuck off
  • Va’ in malora - Go toward ruin

Now that we already know the Italian insults and their direct translations in English, it's time that we lighten up the insults a bit. In the next part of this post, we will walk you through 10 animals used to call someone out to be behaving as such.


Funny Italian Curses And What It Means

Did you know that there literally extra insulting Italian expressions that make use of animals? Check out the cultural meaning below to find out what it means when someone compares you to one.

ItalianTranslationCultural meaning as an insult
CaneDogSomeone is doing really bad
Asino / SomaroDonkeySomeone who is stupid 
BalenaWhaleVery fat
PolloChickenDumb or not thinking twice before believing
ConiglioRabbitSomeone easily scared or very gullible
AquilaEagleVery stupid
VermeWormCalling someone as a person without dignity


Ready To Learn The Italian Language?

Italian Insults

So, which of these words have you heard before or are you planning to use with your close friends? Remember, do not use these Italian Insults with people you just met or when you are traveling as some of these can be very rude.

As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn about the insulting Italian expressions used in real life. If you enjoyed this post, then be sure to check out our other language tips related to this language, such as the Italian greetings and Italian love phrases. However, if you are more interested in learning the Italian language, then we've got something that is perfect for you, and that is the Ling App by Simya Solutions.

The Ling App is a language learning application ideal for mastering over 60+ foreign languages using your mobile application. The whole platform comes equipped with interactive features and engaging course design in order to ensure that you are having fun while learning. To practice, you can make use of the flashcard style or converse using the AI-based chatbot.

And the best part of it all? The whole application is available for free and can instantly be accessed through the website. So, what are you waiting for? Get your mobile devices out and download the application today to get your language learning journey started on the right foot. For questions on how it works or if you have content suggestions, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below and we'd surely get back to you in an instant.


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