How to talk like an Italian millennial

How to talk like an Italian millennial

Wed 11 Jan 2017 5:01 PM

If you are new to town, have happened to eavesdrop on young Italians chatting away and heard the same phrases used over and over again, then you are probably wondering about their lingo. Here are some expressions used by giovani Italian millennials that will make you sound like a local during your semester abroad.



Okay, so it’s “a big” ciao, but it’s usually used as a joke, to talk sarcastically about something that will never happen. E.g. “Do you think he’ll call me?” “CIAONE!” 



Basically the same as CIAONE! It turned super popular when Adele released her hit single Hello and we all became obsessed with the Britpop mistress and her ballad.


No Maria, io esco!”

When you hear this phrase, watch out. It means the speaker is losing patience or is pretty annoyed about something. It literally means “No, Maria, I’m out!” and was created by Tina Cipollari, a permanent fixture on the TV dating show Uomini e Donne. The “Maria” she’s addressing is Maria De Filippi, the show’s host and long-standing TV personality. Tina would often argue with people, stopping off out of the studio to cool down while yelling her catchphrase. It became popular on Twitter and has now entered the Italian language, although no Italian will ever admit to having watched the series. Uomini e Donne is a sort of guilty pleasure here in Italy, just like the Kardashians in the US.


Vola tutto!”

A great way to describe something that is just perfect. If your Italian roommate suggests that you go visit his/her family at a small town near the Cinque Terre, “vola tutto!” is the only answer because the weather, the sea and everything there is totally “on fleek”.


Ma Fly Down proprio”

Used to give someone attitude. Perfect if you end up in piazza Santo Spirito on a Friday night with some random guy promising you that he will show you the “not-so-touristy Florence”. You better go treat yourself to a bowl of delicious pasta, my dear. 


Mai Una Gioia”

You wake up late for class, can’t find your coat when it’s freezing outside and have to skip breakfast and lunch. On your way back home you decide to indulge at your favourite pizzeria, which just so happens to be closed. Well, that is a “mai una gioia”—another major letdown on top of an already nightmarish day.


Non fare la sottona!”

Your roommate Ashley had a beautiful first date with a handsome Italian guy who hasn’t called her since. You can use “Non fare la sottona!” to tell her to move on and download Tinder. Again.


Stasera si sboccia!”

When it’s Friday night and you just want to bring the lyrics of Sia’s Chandelier to life, “Stasera si sboccia” should be the official motto of your squad! 

With this short but handy list you will be able to talk like an Italian millennial and feel like a local in no time. And if you’re wondering what the father of the Italian language, Dante Alighieri, would think about this, well, he’d probably appreciate it since he too was very ahead of his time. Sorry, baby boomers!

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