There is a new lovely Italian idiom to learn: “essere muto come un pesce“!

It’s not too difficult to understand what “essere muto come un pesce” means in Italian, however it’s worth having a look at its meaning and uses. Sometimes the difficult part is answering the question: in which context shall I use this expression?

Even if you can roughly understand what you are talking about, using an idiom can be tricky if you are not familiar with it and you are not sure about when to use it.

Going back to this expression, if you translate it “muto” means “silent” and “pesce” is “fish”: obviously the expression refers to the fact that fishes don’t speak, so if we use it we mean that someone, at a specific time, is very quiet or silent. It can also mean that someone doesn’t reveal a secret or a private information.

Let’s learn more through some examples!

Italian English
Lucia è stata muta come un pesce durante l’esame ed è stata bocciata. Lucia was completely silent during the exam and she failed.
Ieri sera sono andata a una festa ma non conoscevo nessuno e sono stato muto come un pesce tutto il tempo. Yesterday evening I went to a party but I didn’t know anyone so I was silent all the time.
Massimo mi ha detto che sarà muto come un pesce e non rivelerà il mio segreto. Massimo told me that he will be silent and won’t reveal my secret.


Can you recall a situation when you were totally silent? Try to tell us more!

And if you are interested in discovering more Italian idioms with animals watch this lovely video!

Also, you can go through our online resources to learn idioms, grammar and take nice quizzes!