TUSCAN DIALECT FOR DUMMIES IN FLORENCEMin. reading
Learn the tuscan dialect in Florence: survival hints for a conversation with a Florentine.
You have already googled “Main attractions in Florence”, chosen what clothes you will put in your suitcase and above all who is going to travel with you for an unforgettable Holiday in Tuscany, haven’t you?
Good, now you only need to do one thing before leaving. No, we won’t just teach you Italian survival sentences. Are you ready for the first lesson of “Tuscan dialect for dummies in Florence: Survival hints for a conversation with a Florentine”?
Discover words and phrases in order not to be caught off guard by the sharp blades of Florentine humour!
Let’s start with very simple words, and then we will have a look at proper sayings:
BISCHERO (o GRULLO)
This is a Tuscan term that is well-known all around Italy and it refers to a person who is not very clever and extremely naïve. It is used mainly as a joke and in an affectionate way, but according to the context it can also be used in a more offensive way. The word “bischerata” derives from the term “bischero”, meaning both a stupid thing to do and a very easy thing to do. Its origins are not certain: It could come either from the name of an ancient family from Florence who were famous for failing economic investments, from the male sex organ or from the Italian term for swamp reed, “bischero di palude”, which always moves back and forth even in the smallest wave or a soft breeze. A very typical Florentine sentence? “’Un fare i’ bischero!” : “Don’t be silly!”.
It means “no way”, and it is used as an expression of disbelief, similar to “what’s up with that?”, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” And here is how they use it in Florence: “Oh venvia!”.
It is a very poetic noun referring to a feeling of boredom mixed with intolerance and a little bit of a bad mood. Here is the context in which you might hear it “Uh! c’ho un uggia oggi…” (Oh,I’ve got such an “uggia”, today)
The “cencio” is a cloth used to mop the floor. The famous Tuscan saying “Cencio che parla male di straccio” means literally “the cloth is speaking badly about the rag” and it refers to those people who talk about other people’s flaws without realizing their own. Don’t get confused though, “cencio” is also the name of a typical Florentine dessert! A real delicacy, not a cleaning cloth at all!
It’s and exhortation meaning “come on”, and it is used a lot in Florence and its outskirts. “’Gnamo, si fa tardi!”, for example, this means “Come on, we are late!” A now, here’s our version dedicated to you: “’Gnamo, un fare i’ bischero, vieni a Firenze!” (“C’mon, don’t be silly, come to Florence!”)
ACQUA CHETA LA ROVINA I PONTI
Meaning literally “Calm waters ruin bridges”, it is a warning not to trust a person immediately just because at first sight they appear calm and accommodating. It’s the equivalent of the English saying “Still waters run deep”.
SENZA LILLERI ‘UN SI LALLERA
Without money you can’t do much. The term “lilleri” means money, whilst “lallera” means literally to “have fun”, but the meaning has broadened with time and acquired also the significance of “doing many things”.
UNN’È I’ BERE…L’È I’ RIBERE
It’s not a matter of drinking, it’s a matter of drinking again and again. There is nothing left to say and in Florence, with Tuscan wines, the temptation is really strong!
FARE A MICCINO
Consume in small quantities: in the best case scenario it refers to a penny-wise person, in the worst to stingy people! The term “miccino” means “small amount of something”.
GLIE DIACCIO MARMAHO
It’s as cold as marble. You will hear this frequently over the next few months in Florence!
This is all you need to know before leaving. For further information, either on your stay or on our local sayings, do not hesitate to contact us:[email protected]!
Study hard, and don’t be a “bischero”!