Have you heard some one saying “Chiodo scaccia chiodo”?

Chiodo scaccia chiodo” is a lovely Italian idiom, but it might be difficult to understand!

In this case a bit of interpretation is needed to catch the meaning of the expression.

Once you get it, this will become one of your favourite Italian idioms!

Literally “chiodo” means “nail” and “scacciare” means “to drive away”.

So we have something like “a nail drives another nail away”.

It refers to the fact that one thing replaces another.

In English we would use “a problem drives another one away”, however in the original version the idiom does not refer only to problems but to things in general.

Do you know that this idiom is used for love troubles as well?

Normally when someone is suffering for a relationship or just broke up with a partner, people say this idiom referring to the possibility to forget someone replacing him/her with someone else.

And now some examples!

Italian English
Alice si è lasciata con il fidanzato due settimane fa e ha già un nuovo ragazzo, chiodo scaccia chiodo! Alice broke up with her boyfriend two weeks ago and she already has a new boyfriend, a nail drives another away!
Pierpaolo ha giocato tanti anni nella squadra della sua città ma, appena ha avuto un problema, è andato a giocare con la principale concorrente. Chiodo scaccia chiodo! Pierpaolo played many years with the team of his city but, as soon as he had a problem, he started playing with the main competitor. A problem drives another away!
Elena è stata licenziata dalla sua azienda ma ha trovato subito un altro lavoro. Chiodo scaccia chiodo! Elena was fired by her company but she found another job straight away. A problem drives another away!


Can you think of a situation where you would use this idiom?

Try and share your example!

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