funny Italian words (with audio)

35 Funny Italian Words: Slang, Phrases & Audio Fun

There’s something irresistibly delightful about funny Italian words that can instantly brighten your day.

This article aims to uncover a collection of captivating and funny Italian words and phrases that embody the wit and charm of Italian people and their culture. It offers a unique experience for English speakers who want to explore the lighter side of learning a new language.

As you dive into the realm of these amusing Italian phrases, you’ll come across words that often don’t have a literal translation in English, making them even more fascinating for foreign language enthusiasts.

35 Hilarious and Charming Funny Italian Words with Audio Clips: Boost Your Vocabulary While Laughing

listening to Italian funny words and laughing

Here’s our handpicked selection of 35 funny Italian words featuring English translations, meanings, and examples in the Italian language.

To truly immerse yourself in the Italian culture and engage with native speakers, we’ve also included audio clips to help you perfect your pronunciation.

Discover the best ways to infuse humor and wit into everyday conversations while deepening your connection to Italy and its vibrant culture.

1. Pelandrone

Lazybones – Someone who’s extremely lazy. Often used to tease friends who love lounging around.

Mario è un pelandrone, non fa mai nulla.
Mario is a lazybones, he never does anything.

Suggested Reading: Get your giggles with 101 funny Italian jokes that’ll make you laugh out loud!

2. Fannullone

Slacker – A person who avoids work or responsibilities. The word comes from the Italian expression “fare nulla,” meaning “to do nothing.”

Il mio collega è un fannullone, devo fare tutto io.
My coworker is a slacker, I have to do everything.

3. Pantofolaio

Couch potato – A person who enjoys staying at home and doing little. Derived from the Italian word “pantofola,” meaning “slipper.” One of the funniest Italian words you’ll hear in Italy.

Carlo è un pantofolaio, preferisce stare a casa a guardare la TV.
Carlo is a couch potato, he prefers staying home watching TV.

Suggested Reading: Discover the 47 best Italian sayings, proverbs, and quotes about life.

4. Brontolone

Grumbler – A person who constantly complains. Inspired by “Brontolo,” the Grumpy dwarf from “Biancaneve e i Sette Nani” (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), who was notorious for his incessant grumbling.

Mio zio è un brontolone, non è mai contento di nulla.
My uncle is a grumbler, he’s never happy with anything.

5. Ridarella

Giggles – Uncontrollable laughter. A common term among friends sharing a laugh.

Ogni volta che vedo quel video, mi prende la ridarella.
Every time I watch that video, I get the giggles.

Craving more linguistic adventures? Dive into our ultimate guide to basic Italian phrases for travel (with a downloadable PDF cheat sheet).

6. Mangione

Big eater – A person who eats a lot. Often used affectionately to describe someone who enjoys food.

Giovanni è un mangione, ha finito tutta la pizza da solo.
Giovanni is a big eater, he finished all the pizza by himself.

7. Mannaggia

Darn it – This is a popular Italian expression used as an exclamation to express frustration or annoyance. It’s a mild, non-offensive expression.

Mannaggia, ho perso il mio portafoglio!
Darn it, I lost my wallet!

8. Paffuto

Chubby – Describes someone with a plump or rounded appearance. A gentle way to describe someone’s physique.

Il bambino è così paffuto e adorable.
The baby is so chubby and adorable.

9. Cazzeggiare

To goof off – To waste time doing unproductive activities. Often used among friends who procrastinate together.

Non posso cazzeggiare tutto il giorno, ho molto lavoro da fare.
I can’t goof off all day, I have a lot of work to do.

Suggested Reading: Explore the origins and fascinating facts of “ciao”, one of the most ubiquitous words in the Italian language.

10. Fifone

Coward – Someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. A teasing term for someone who avoids facing fears. The word “Fifone” comes from “fifa,” a common Italian word meaning “paura”.

Non fare il fifone, è solo un film dell’orrore.
Don’t be a coward, it’s just a horror movie.

11. Ampolloso

Pompous – Describes someone who is pretentious or overly showy. Derived from “ampolla,” meaning “blister” or “bubble.”

Quel politico è così ampolloso, non lo sopporto.
That politician is so pompous, I can’t stand him.

12. Saccente

Know-it-all – A person who acts as if they know everything. A playful term to call out someone’s arrogance.

Luca è un saccente, pensa di sapere tutto.
Luca is a know-it-all, he thinks he knows everything.

Suggested Reading: Dive into Italian colloquial language with 37 key slang words and expressions that will make you sound like a local.

13. Chiaccherone

Chatterbox – A person who talks a lot, often about trivial matters. A light-hearted way to describe talkative people in Italian.

Mia sorella è una chiaccherona, non smette mai di parlare.
My sister is a chatterbox, she never stops talking.

14. Coccodrillo

Crocodile – In this context, it refers to someone who pretends to be sad or cries insincerely. Inspired by the myth of crocodile tears.

Non credere alle sue lacrime, è un coccodrillo.
Don’t believe her tears, she’s a crocodile.

15. Bugiardino

Little liar – An affectionate term that points out someone is not telling the truth. Often used in a friendly or teasing manner.

Non fare il bugiardino con me, so che non hai fatto i compiti.
Don’t play the little liar with me, I know you didn’t do your homework.

16. Salame

Salami – In slang, it can refer to a foolish or naive person. A playful term linking a person’s naivety to a simple food item.

Non fare il salame, sappiamo che stai mentendo.
Don’t play the fool, we know you’re lying.

17. Cagasotto

Scaredy-cat – A person who is easily frightened or excessively cautious. The word combines “cagare” (to defecate) and “sotto” (under), highlighting fear.

Sei un cagasotto, non ti preoccupare di quelle storie spaventose.
You’re a scaredy-cat, don’t worry about those scary stories.

18. Sfizioso

Tasty, tempting – Describes food that is particularly appetizing or appealing. Often used to compliment Italian cuisine and its irresistible flavors.

Questo antipasto è molto sfizioso, vorrei la ricetta.
This appetizer is very tasty, I’d like the recipe.

Suggested Reading: 10 Idiomatic Italian Expressions that will make you sound like a true Italian.

19. Fetente

Stinker – A person who is unpleasant or dishonest. The literal meaning of this word is “stinker,” which highlights the person’s unlikability.

Quel fetente mi ha rubato il posto di lavoro.
That stinker stole my job.

20. Rocambolesco

Adventurous, fantastic – Describes an incredible, exciting, or extraordinary situation. Inspired by Rocambole, a fictional character known for his daring exploits.

La loro storia d’amore è rocambolesca e affascinante.
Their love story is adventurous and captivating.

21. Furbino

Sly, cunning – Describes a person who is clever and sneaky, often in a dishonest way. “Furbino” originates from “furbo,” meaning “cunning” or “sly.”

Il venditore era un furbino, ha venduto l’auto a un prezzo più alto.
The salesman was sly, he sold the car at a higher price.

22. Mozzafiato

Breathtaking – Describes something stunning or awe-inspiring. Literally means “to cut the breath,” capturing the essence of the word.

La vista dalla cima della montagna è mozzafiato.
The view from the top of the mountain is breathtaking.

23. Baffona

Mustachioed woman – A woman with noticeable facial hair, particularly a mustache. A light-hearted term derived from “baffo,” meaning “mustache.”

La signora baffona mi ricorda il mio vecchio insegnante.
The mustachioed woman reminds me of my old teacher.

24. Schifoso

Disgusting – Describes something repulsive or distasteful. Often used to express strong disapproval or distaste for something.

Il cibo in quella mensa è schifoso.
The food in that cafeteria is disgusting.

25. Disgustoso

Disgusting – Another term to describe something repulsive or distasteful. Similar to “schifoso,” it captures a sense of repulsion.

Il comportamento di Marco è disgustoso.
Marco’s behavior is disgusting.

26. Casino

Mess, chaos – Describes a disorderly or chaotic situation. Often used to describe lively gatherings or events where Italians enjoy themselves.

Quando i bambini sono a casa, è sempre un casino.
When the kids are home, it’s always a mess.

27. Gattara

Chaos, mess, noisy – A popular way to express that a situation is noisy and chaotic. An informal expression capturing the lively nature of Italian culture.

Con tutti quei bambini che giocano, la stanza è diventata una gattara.
With all those kids playing, the room has become a noisy mess.

28. Boh

I don’t know – An informal way to express uncertainty or lack of knowledge. Widely used in casual conversations among Italians.

Boh, non so cosa fare questa sera.
I don’t know, I don’t know what to do tonight.

29. Mammone

Mama’s boy – A man overly attached to his mother, often negatively or childish. Reflects the importance of family ties in Italian culture.

Paolo è un mammone, non riesce a fare nulla senza sua madre.
Paolo is a mama’s boy, he can’t do anything without his mother.

30. Abbiocco

Drowsy, nod off – Describes feeling sleepy or drifting off.  This word is often used to describe a “food coma” or the drowsiness after eating a big meal. A testament to the Italian love for hearty, delicious meals.

Dopo la festa di compleanno, avevo un forte abbiocco.
After the birthday party, I had a strong food coma.

31. Bazzecola

Trifle, little thing – Refers to something insignificant or of little importance. Highlights the Italian tendency to focus on what truly matters in life.

Non preoccuparti di quella bazzecola, concentrati sulle cose importanti.
Don’t worry about that trifle, focus on the important things.

32. Giuggiola

Jujube – A type of fruit, but also used to describe someone sweet and adorable. A term of endearment often used for loved ones or close friends.

La bambina è una giuggiola, tutti la adorano.
The little girl is a jujube, everyone adores her.

33. Cianfrusaglia

Knickknacks, trinkets – A collection of small, often insignificant items or ornaments. Captures the Italian appreciation for sentimental items.

Ho tante cianfrusaglie sul mio scaffale, ma ognuna ha un significato particolare per me.
I have so many knickknacks on my shelf, but each has a special meaning.

34. Bacherozzo

Cockchafer – A type of beetle, sometimes used to describe someone clumsy or awkward. A playful comparison between a person’s clumsiness and a beetle’s movements.

Marco è un bacherozzo, riesce sempre a rovinare tutto.
Marco is a cockchafer, he always manages to ruin everything.

35. Pennichella

Power nap – A brief, rejuvenating sleep, usually taken during the day. An Italian tradition, especially in the south, to recharge during the day.

Ho bisogno di una pennichella per recuperare energie.
I need a power nap to regain energy.

As we’ve seen, Italian has amusing expressions and words that can entertain any conversation. The most common words, when translated literally, can sometimes give us a unique perspective on Italian expressions and their origins.

By learning and understanding these funny Italian words, you’re expanding your vocabulary and getting a glimpse into the Italian way of life.

So, whether you’re a language enthusiast or someone who loves Italian culture, we hope you enjoyed exploring these humorous phrases that showcase Italy’s lighthearted and endearing side. Buon divertimento!

Before You Go…

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