July 2013 In Italy compliments are always suspicious! I knew that saying! ‘In the mouth of the wolf’? I know exactly what you mean Andrea!! :o). Italian 101 – How to ask where is the toilet? 😉, Don’t you love how legends develop Manja, its fascinating!! I just adore that photo of the little Red Riding Hood. So whilst you might face struggles in life, if you have the protection of In bocca al lupo and keep pushing forward you will eventually come out the other side as a winner, much as Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandma did. I just mentioned to a close friend who is Italian about not saying ‘buona fortuna’ because it means bad luck — he’s never heard that. Other issues 7. The bull in Milan getting his bits trampled, Give Florence’s wild boar statue a stroke for good luck, Verona’s Juliet statue offers good luck in romance, Venice’s 2 columns in Piazzaetta San Marco. To the non-Italian saying “Into the wolf’s mouth” or “Death to the wolf” may sound a bit strange. Thanks for your lovely comments though Kathy and if your friend has any other good luck phrases I’d love to hear them! (let's hope it will sleep on its back). Just as I remember! Obviously the most common way is wishing BUONA FORTUNA (Good luck), but we also have other special ways, related to animals! November 2013 Some coins should be thrown between the sheets to bring good fortune. In Milan its apparently tradition to spin on your heel over the “crown jewels” of a mosaic bull in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade. That one makes perfect sense to me! May 2019 ; Italy: 13 was the lucky number in the Italian football pools (Totocalcio).The Italian expression "fare tredici" (literally, "make thirteen") means to hit the jackpot. But whether it’s the Charles Perrault or Brother Grimm adaptation, the gist of the message is that the village is safe but the woods are dangerous and that we should always obey our mother! Forli seems ages ago now but it was a great couple of days and I loved the mosaics, didn’t you?! In bocca al lupo is a wonderfully idiomatic Italian saying and wherever it came from, it is the only way to say Good Luck in Italian unless you want to poke Lady Luck in the eye! The wolf isn’t the only thing that Italians use when summoning up good luck. In some cultures, black cats are thought to bring good luck, but it's quite the opposite in Italy, where they are considered unlucky due to associations with witchcraft. The twins were famously suckled by a gentle she-wolf before being rescued from a cave in the hills that would later for part of their Eternal City. Confused? 8 things you didn’t know about St Peter’s in Rome, Weekly Photo Challenge - Intricate Burano Lace. Today a visitor may be surprised at which superstitions are taken seriously and which are taken with a grain of salt, so to speak. Thanks Tom, I hope you remembered to say Crepi to the wolf!! Pork is often associated with prosperity and wealth due to its fattening properties. April 2015 Not so … Many young Italian couples are given rice upon purchase of their first… thanks for sharing! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. And all birth control devices should be confiscated or at least tampered with. May 2018 And its suggested that saying In bocca al lupo goes back to the she-wolf who will protect you, as she did the twins. Italian weddings are intimate gathering. In bocca al lupo was a way for hunters or farmers to wish each other good luck in the face of a dangerous predator as they went out to cull it. Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world. Using idioms (may) make Italians think you know more of their language than you actually do. ; Other. So whether you’re knocking on iron, stamping on bulls’ bits or touching up Juliet, there is no need to be afraid of this big bad wolf. View DreamDiscoverItalia’s profile on Facebook, View DreamDiscoverItalia’s profile on Instagram, Romulus and Remus, who went on to found Rome, Italians are superstitious about the number 17, Italian 101 – How to say Good Luck in Italian, Italian 101 - How to say please, thank you and you’re welcome in Italian. Throughout history, Italian culture has been rich with superstitions for good or evil that continue to form the basis of many of the Italian Life Rules. È facile far paura al toro dalla finestra. Wishing for good luck Just like you might tell someone to “break a leg” in English, Italians have their own idiom to wish someone good luck without actually uttering that phrase, which, naturally, would be considered to mean the opposite. This is another way used all over Italy. It literally means “In the wolf’s mouth” or “Into the wolf’s mouth” but is intended to mean anything from good luck, fingers crossed, break a leg or even face your fears! 🙂, Haha, this was entertaining, and even though I’ve been living in Italy – southern Tuscany – for three years, it’s the first time I hear much of it. In the meantime, I’d just like to say In bocca al lupo tutti, Good Luck everyone!! In bocca al lupo! May 2013 The middle and ring fingers are clenched while … Here’s how to do it like the Italians! A presto, Sue x, Thanks Sue, your support is always appreciated!! She was dressed up for Venice Carnival last year and having a ball!!! Hope I didn't insult or jinx anyone all these years. Now that you know this, you will bring luck to everybody! Italian 101 – How to say Happy Birthday! I’ve only found this story in one place so far, so I can’t say how well-held the belief is but it all blends into the wolf equals bad news idea so who knows…? To us Americans, this seems like a silly way to wish someone good luck. or simply Crepi! Watch Out for the Evil Eye. Some suggest that it goes back to the opera theatre, a bit like when actors say “Break a leg” before going on stage. Other stories also link into the wolf-devil association, suggesting that 18th and 19th century travellers would use the phrase to generate courage before a long journey and against the danger of wolf attack. Thanks for the opportunity as always Lyn! It is considered bad luck to say"good luck", so there seems to be some parallel there. Who knew! Therefore, in this article, we are going to answer these questions, once and for all! Since my last trip to Naples i now have red cornos on my key ring with me always! As for the origin – la lupa is known to mean something else than she-wolf… so it’s a question who really nursed the twins: a gentle animal or a prostitute. But I’ll let you make your mind up which one sounds most plausible, as I’ve not yet found a definitive answer! Hey DreamDiscoverItalia, I’m sorry to be late. This is the day of Epiphany, which in Italy is believed to be a witch called La Befana . I’ve heard a much ruder reply to “In bocco al lupo”! Similarly to how ‘break a leg’ has evolved to mean buona fortuna, good luck, in everyday conversations here- from the backstage of theater… Continue Reading And thus their evil rating rose to stratospheric heights. Certainly this holds true in for stage people in show business so could easily spread to those of us not in the spotlight! :o). Thanks for commenting! So youd think that wishing someone good luck, literally Buona Fortuna, would be a good thing, wouldnt you? A jar of cooked rice on the kitchen counter. Interesting regional Italian customs. :o). Wishing someone In bocca al lupo, therefore is a way of saying Good luck, watch out for danger and be good all in one! Should I be scared……?!!!!! The climate is mainly Mediterranean: in the north of the country winters are cold and summers are warm. Translations. I love that the she-wolf could be a wolf or prostitute because both are outsiders showing their softer side. Out in the countryside many suggest that the expression comes from the rural hunting world where wolves were a risk to livestock and therefore hunted. However, many people don’t know the origin or how to reply to this expression. Felines. 2 Italian Wedding Ceremony. But what’s a wolf got to do with good luck? Very timely, too. Have a wonderful weekend in Southern Tuscany with your beau!! 10. I’m always telling brits not to say villa Fortuna. April 2013, All If they forget or just say “Grazie” they risk bad luck so make sure it’s not forgotten! Good to know! Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Yes Janice,you're right! Love this one. They're made with either or both hands. When you’re feeling under the weather, chances are you want … The family of my amore is just not very superstitious. Well, don’t worry, here’s how to wish someone Good Luck in Italian and ensure that Lady Luck looks kindly on you and your friends forever! 7. It was fun to write! What you have to answer to such a wishing? In the US, when an actor is about to go on stage (or somebody is about to face some challenging task, like an exam) we say "break a leg"....in other words, "do your best". But if you value your health, don’t ever mutter those two little words to an Italian as its considered extremely bad luck! So you’d think that wishing someone good luck, literally Buona Fortuna, would be a good thing, wouldn’t you? In many folk traditions, eggs represent fertility and rebirth, new life, and potential. Thank you for linking up very interesting article with #TheWeeklyPostcard. One of the more popular superstitions is the Malocchio (mal=bad occhio=eye) or the evil eye. Green is a color of good luck and most Italian brides will wear a green sash or emerald brooch at the rehearsal dinner. May 2015 The cimaruta is a very old Italian portafortuna (good luck charm) rooted in the lore of the ancient Pagan religions of Italy. Horns play almost as big a part in Italian sign language as testicles. Gift Giving. Well, bare with me and all will be explained. I thought "auguri" covered everything. But the wolf icon pops up throughout history and there are lots of different stories explaining where this little good luck phrase came from. In Medieval times the wolf took on an extra level of evilness, even being associated with the devil. All my WordPress news goes straight to my spam folder (despite my annoyance and regular attempts to change it). Thanks for the reblog!! Hope alls good with you too?! ... —and it is said that the number of pomegranate seeds that end up scattered is directly correlated with the amount of good luck … This proverb suggests that wine is so healthy that it even makes good blood! Egg … October 2017 Many of our Italian relatives believe in superstitions. 1. But if you value your health, dont ever mutter those two little words to an Italian as its considered extremely b… France: 13 was traditionally considered a lucky number in France prior to the First World War, and was used in numerical form as a good luck symbol on postcards and charms. How has that evolved to mean ‘good luck’? Good job I never bought her a Yucca plant then, as Italians call this the plant of happiness but it brings bad luck into the home. Liz — Funny, I had the “lupo” exchange just yesterday in Venice. I’ll be returning to Italy this week . The origin dates back to the early Renaissance in the Republic of Florence. It’s the look that one person gives to another if they are jealous or envious. I never used to have anything on my keyring but since living in Italy now have a number of charms etc! January 2016 Every day is a school day Paolo, thanks so much for your tips! Take care!! December 2013 Italian idioms add color to a language and make you sound competent and comfortable. If you want to wish someone good luck in their exams, starting a new job or before a first date, the phrase you actually want is In bocca al lupo, pronounced een boh-kah al loo-poh. Rice may even represent coins and their growth while baking may symbolize the growing of one’s wealth. In some places, if a black cat crosses your path it’s considered a sign of good luck. Verona’s superstitious rub the breast of a bronze statue of Juliet, of Romeo and Juliet fame, hoping for luck in love. The Torinese (from Turin), have a similar tradition to Milan of standing on a bull or touching the finger of a statue of Colombo for a safe trip and prosperous life! And Venetians won’t walk between 2 columns in the Piazzetta di San Marco because executions were carried out there. Or the origin could be nothing more complex than the popular old belief that if you want to say one thing, you have to actually say the opposite so as not to jinx something. I know “in bocca al lupo” but, for example, I have never heard the reply. South Korean New Year, known as Seollal, usually falls in late January or early February, and the soup is believed to bring those who eat it good luck in the new year, according to Culture Trip. Yes Domenico, that's can be another option! In bocca al lupo to you!! Breakfast is not a big meal in Italian culture and is sometimes skipped. “Because he believes that it would be bad luck if he didn’t. I saw the title of your latest post yesterday but as it started “Monster mice….” or something along those lines I haven’t summoned the courage to open it!! It can be worn around the neck or hung above an infant’s bed to ward off any evil. Whilst others faithfully follow their horoscopes or call on the saints to help. Ever wonder why the rooster is such a prominent theme in Italian ceramics? Kinda relieved as I’m sure I’ve said ‘buona fortuna’ more than once in Italy. Italian Proverbs About Business. A cornicello (Italian pronunciation: [korniˈtʃɛllo]), cornetto ([korˈnetto]; Italian for '"little horn" or "hornlet"'), corno (Italian for "horn"), or corno portafortuna (literally "horn that brings luck" in Italian) is an Italian amulet or talisman worn to protect against the evil eye (or malocchio [maˈlɔkkjo] in Italian) and bad luck in general, and, historically, to promote fertility and virility. Traditionally, Italians eat lunch together as a family. In Italian culture, the color red is associated with fertility, and so people wear it under their clothes in the hopes that it will help them conceive in the coming year. All rights reserved. In this idea, the wolf is a metaphor for the audience to be faced, with the proscenium arch of the stage equaling the wolf’s mouth. Others relate it back to ancient Roman history. Telling brits not to say good luck in Italian culture and is essential! Fertility and rebirth, new life, and surrounded by the Mediterranean.. 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