Italian Slang: P

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


[pahk-ko] Literally “package,” but also used in the sense shown here (“Your package is in good hands”), just as it is in English.

[PALL-lay] Balls. Che palle! – “What bullshit!” or “What a pain in the ass!” Or, simply Palle! “Bullshit!”

Stare tra le palle – “to stay between the balls” is to be a pain in the butt or to be in the way or generally bothersome.

Ikea ad

above: From an exhibition of advertising that was banned as too rude or provocative in its day.) Ikea offers to keep the kids “in the balls” while you shop.

Palle Girate (Avere Le)

[PALL-lay jee-RAH-tay] “To have one’s balls turned or twisted” – to be extremely irritated, either specifically or just a general bad mood.

Palle Piene (Avere Le)

[PALL-lay PYAY-nay] “To have one’s balls full [of x],” to be completely fed up with, sick of, unable to stand any longer.


[pah-tah-TEEN-ah] Literally, “little potato.” In gastronomy, refers to French fries or potato chips (chips and crisps, if you’re British). In anatomy, refers to the female sexual organs (patata – potato – is also used). Hence a TV ad featuring Rocco Siffredi, a porno star, talking about his vast experience with patate – “but my favorites are Amica Chips.” (These ads were later banned for rudeness by some seldom-heard-from censorship authority, which the public thought ridiculous.)

Pecora, alla

[ALL-a PAY-cor-ah] “Like a sheep” – doggy style.

^ image top: “A woman is like a washing machine: she gives her best at 90 degrees!”

Per Dio

[pair DEE-oh] By God. Not often used, at least not where I live. An old-fashioned way to make an exclamation without blaspheming is to swear by some outdated god: perdiana, perbacco, pergiove (Diana, Bacchus, Jove). Or take it to a level of abstraction with Per tutti i dindiridin!

Pera, farsi una

[FAR-see OO-na PAIR-a] To take an injection of heroin.

Pippa – Farsi Una Pippa

[FAR-see OOna PEEP-pa] Literally, to jerk (oneself) off, but also used to denigrate others: Ci fa una pippa – “[We’re so much better that] he/she can just jerk us off.”


[PEER-la] Lombard/Milanese dialect for penis, but used more like “dickhead”.


[pee-ZELL-oh] Literally pea (the kind you eat), but used as cutesy slang for penis. Often used with small children, especially in the diminutive form, pisellino (little pea). Not to be confused with pisolino.


[pee-zoh-LEE-no] A nap. Often used in the phrase schiacciare un pisolino, but schiacciare means to squash – why would you squash a nap? (This is not a rude word.)


[pom-PEE-no] “Little pump” – blowjob.

Of course Ross and her friends found this street name in Cannes hysterically funny…


[por-CAH-tah] A swinish, disgusting act, or a big mess.

Porci Comodi

[POR-chee COM-moh-dee] Literally “comfortable pigs,” but used as “disgusting acts performed at will and at leisure.”


[POR-coh] Pig, swine. Can be used of a person of disgusting habits (usually with specific reference to sexual habits), but more often used in conjunction with another word, as an exclamation: Porco cane! Porco dio! Porca madonna! Porca puttana! Porco Giuda! Porca vacca! (dog, god, Madonna, whore, Judas, cow). Roughly equals “Holy shit!” Porca miseria – “pig poverty” – is very commonly used.

A polite version of some common phrases can be constructed by substituting Ella or Ulla (both meaningless) for Porca: – Ella miseria!

A semi-polite substition for porca Madonna is porca Madosca – if Madosca has a meaning (someone’s name?), I don’t know what it is.


[por-CONE-ah] Literally a big (female) pig, used to mean “slut”.


[por-CONE-ay] Male equivalent of porcona.

Preso in Giro

[PRAY-zo in GEE-ro] To be “grabbed around,” to be made fun of, made a fool of, fooled. Can be used in polite company.


[pro-VAR-chee] Literally “to try to do it”, but often used as to attempt to seduce. See also rimorchiare, tacchinare.


[poot-TAHN-ah] Prostitute. Used in exclamations such as Porca puttana! and Puttana Eva! (“Eve prostitute” – that is, it’s Eve’s fault that women induce men to sin.). Pasta alla puttanesca is supposed to be a recipe developed by Rome’s streetwalkers. Figlio di puttana [FEEL-yo dee…] = son of a bitch.


  1. Hey everyone!

    I’m Italian, so let me just point out some things:

    – ‘Ella’ is simply an abbreviation of ‘Eh la’ (Oh, the), so that ‘Ella miseria’ simply means ‘Oh, poverty!’.
    – ‘Madosca’ is simply an euphemism for ‘Madonna’. It is not a proper name, simply a way of not saying ‘Madonna’ by using a word very similar in the form.
    – ‘Pisello’ is more or less a vulgar word, very close to ‘dick’ in the meaning

  2. poor-ta-ma-zelia
    Probably wrong spelling.
    It should be dialect.
    In Italian it should be ”Portami tua Xy” (”bring me your xy”) where Xy is normally your sister/mother. The person speaking normally means ‘he’s gonna show you what he is ‘able’ to do with her…… It’s a very bad challange…

  3. hi,
    my father used to swear in italian when a crazy driver made a crazy maneuver. He used to say “minkia puttana bisoto or pisoto.”
    i know the meaning of “minkia puttana” but not “bisoto” or “pisoto.”
    could anyone translate this into english?

  4. What does “putz” mean? My grandmother used to say it when she was irritated with someone.

  5. I was googling to find an Italian slang phrase that my dad used to say and this page came up. I think it sounded like:
    “Un gatz un gul” (I’m sure I butchered that, and please forgive me)
    He said it mean, “a little d*ck in your a*ss”

    In other words, to call you a pain in the a*ss would overstate your significance, .. you’re just a little pain. You’re no big deal, but you’re irritating if I bother to think about you.

    Do you know the saying and how to say it properly? I would be very grateful.

    I see someone asked about the origin of putz. I’m not sure if it’s polite for visitors to answer questions; forgive me if I shouldn’t. Putz actually comes from German or Yiddish. These days it’s used as an insult and follows the yiddish meaning which is a man’s genitals. Originally, in German it meant a ‘decoration’ and had no negative connotation. For instance, if I’m not mistaken, a decorative Nativity Scene can be referred to as a Christmas Putz.

    Just thought if I were to ask a question, it would be polite to answer a question if I could.

  6. Answers are always welcome! So thanks for yours!

    Seems to me your dad was probably saying “un cazzo nel culo” [un KATzoh nel KOOlo] – a dick in the ass, yes, but I’m surprised if it was meant to imply just a small irritation. Italians are pretty sensitive about dicks in asses. 😉 It’s related to inculare (which I just added because your question brought it to mind) and fare un culo.

  7. I’m wanting the correct spelling for crazy in the old Veneto language I’m sure it’s Pacchio but not sure on the correct spelling.

  8. poor-ta-ma-zelia mean?
    Probably refering to Porca Miseria !
    Meaning Pig’s Luck !, luck you screwed up and yell Son of a Bitch !

  9. One important correction: ‘Pippa’ refers only to oral sex, as in ‘pipe.’ I grew up in Tuscany and am very familiar with this word that got tossed around a lot by boys. This difference could matter quite a lot…no way on earth can anyone “farsi una pippa.” It cannot be done unless by a talented contortionist.

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