Italian Slang: B

Italian Slang Dictionary: intro A B C D E F G I L M N O P Q R S T U V X Z

Balle

[BAHL-lay] Balls. Usually synonymous with “Bullshit!” Mi ha raccontato un sacco di balle – “He/she told me a whole bunch of lies” (literally, “a bag of balls”). Can also be used like palle. Che due balle/palle – “What two balls” – can also be used like “What a pain in the ass.”

Barbone

[bar-BONE-ay] “Having a big beard”, but also used for homeless men.

Battona

[baht-TONE-ah] Streetwalker, because she “pounds (battere) the pavement”.

Beh

“So?” or “So what?” In some parts of Italy, this may be equivalent to boh. Not particularly rude.

Bocchino

[bock-KEE-no] “A little mouthful” – fellatio.

Boh

A verbal shrug. This isn’t rude – you can use it any time.

Botta

[BOT-ta] A blow, a punch, a coup, but also used to mean a dose of cocaine. Hence in botta is used to mean high (but not necessarily specifically on cocaine).

In Roman slang, botta or bottarella means a fuck. Le ho dato una bottarella – “I fucked her [a little].”

19 thoughts on “Italian Slang: B

  1. P. Cip

    An Italian friend asked this evenin (after she used this expression)…What does oooh fah mean? Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. ele

    Uffa means ”I’m fed up! I’ve had enough”
    Ecco ancora Marco non arriva, è mezz’ora che aspetto, uffa!!!

  3. Steph

    I’m trying to figure out the correct spelling and translation for “boccigalupe,” from my research I believe it comes from “Bacio’ il lupo” meaning “kiss the wolf,” but it’s slang for being an idiot. I’ve seen many spellings and definitions. Also, it would be a bonus if anyone knew of the song that my old italian grandmother used to play with “boccigalupe” recurring in the chorus often.

    Thanks for your help.

  4. Steph

    Well, I found the song; Lou Monte’s Paul Revere’s Horse… but still no real spelling.. his is “bo cha ga loop”

  5. Francesca

    maybe you mean “in bocca al lupo”! that literally means “in the wolf’s mouth”, but it is used to say good luck! when someone tells you this, you have to answer “crepi!” that means “the wolf must die”… but I am animalist and I prefer to say (as many others use) “Long live the wolf!!” Or here in Rome, we also say “in the whales asshole!”, to say good luck too…and it is ” in culo alla balena!” about the song…I don’t know I’m sorry!!!

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  7. Brianna

    Another rather colloquial word used in Liguria, mostly in the province of Genova, is “belin”. Basically slang for penis. It’s not particularly rude, but I wouldn’t use it in polite company.
    It’s pronounced “be’liÅ‹”, with a shortened “e”.

  8. Chris.

    Often in the kitchen I could hear what sounded like ‘Bast/Bust’ I have no clue what it means could some one pleae help me?

  9. Colin Sargent

    Can anyone tell me an idiom in Italian that means, He’s dead, or He’s a ghost or He just died? I’m looking
    for something like, “He swims with the fishes” or “He kicked the bucket” but more imaginative.
    Thanks for any ideas!

  10. Eddie

    Hello all, was in Malta and met a great Italian guy who didnt speak a word of English, everytime a group of lads would walk past he would call them ” Be – Be – Che ” or something that sounds like that.. What could it mean. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  11. tim

    Ive heard someone being called “molto bujardo” before up in northern italy. any thoughts? i’m pretty sure it’s vulgar.

  12. Angelo

    I’m responding to an old post, but I think it’s necessary… Baccagalup (spelled phonetically, I don’t know how it’s really spelled) doesn’t mean “in the wolf’s mouth”. It’s a Napoletan phrase, meaning “kissed by the wolf”. It’s an old saying that means someone is kind of crazy, the wolf’s connection to the moon, the moon’s to insanity, ie. lunatic… The phrase is used in mostly an endearing way, at least in my family anyway.

  13. Giulia

    @Colin
    You can use: è cibo per i vermi, ha tirato le cuoia, è crepato, ha stirato, gli hanno fatto un cappotto di legno, è andato a concimare la terra, è schiattato.
    In old roman slang there’s : Se n’è ito all’arberi pizzuti/ he has gone to the Cypress trees place, the cemetery.

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