Alzare il gomito is a funny Italian expression: do you know its meaning?

If you translate “alzare il gomito” in your language, it would not correspond to the real meaning of the idiomatic expression: “alzare” means “to raise” and “gomito” is the elbow, but the way we use it as an idiom is very different!

So we have an expression which is hard to interpret if we don’t know it: often idiomatic expressions are linked to cultural aspects or to specific stories and meaning that are not straightforward for someone who isn’t aware of them.

“Raising the elbow” is a correct translation though: but what for?

The meaning is “to drink too much”: so, for example, if someone yesterday evening drank a lot we can say “ha alzato il gomito”. So basically we refer to raising the elbow in the act of taking the glass to the mouth!

Some examples to see how to use this idiom!

Italian Spanish
Mario sabato scorso ha alzato il gomito e ho dovuto accompagnarlo a casa. Last Saturday Mario drank too much and I had to take him home.
Ieri sera ho alzato il gomito e oggi ho un terribile mal di testa. Yesterday evening I drank too much and today I have a terrible headache.
Fabiana sta alzando troppo il gomito! Fabiana is drinking far too much!


And now try to think of similar situations and make some examples using different tenses, it’s a useful practice!

If you want to learn more idioms visit our Pinterest board! And you can also go through some idiomatic expressions with parts of the body watching this video on our Youtube channel.