There are some Italian sayings that really make the difference!

If you are into Italian sayings you know how good they are to express oneself and speak like a native: sometimes it’s hard to catch their meaning and it takes a while to master them but once you’ve learnt their uses you can’t live without them!

In Italian there are tons of sayings with food, numbers, colours, parts of the body and… animals!

Probably among the funniest, idioms with animals are incredibly common, so probably you have already heard or read some of them: for example, you might know the expression “in bocca a lupo” to wish good luck, where “lupo” is the wolf.

Let’s discover some sayings with animals!

Fare un freddo cane –> If you hear someone saying “fa un freddo cane” it means that it’s damned cold!

Essere la pecora nera –> It corresponds to the English “to be the black sheep” and is used to refer to someone who is different from the rest of the group, especially when talking about a family.

Versare lacrime di coccodrillo –> Literally it can be translated as “to pour crocodile’s tears”, but how does it refer to? This saying is perfect when someone behaves very badly and then pretends to be sad for that.

Italian sayings with animals


Essere magro come un’acciuga –> “To be thin as an anchovy”, so…very thin!

Andare a letto con le galline –>If you “go to bed with hens” it means that you go to bed very early!

Non sapere che pesci prendere –> This expression is perfect when someone is very uncertain and doesn’t know what decision to make.

Tagliare la testa al toro –> “To cut the bull’s head” refers to being very resolute and sort something out without hesitating.

Essere testardo come un mulo –> When someone is very tenacious and wants to reach a goal with inflexible determination, well…we can definitely use this expression which means “to be stubborn as a mule”!

Do you know other sayings with animals in Italian?

Don’t forget to have a look at our online resources and discover more Italian idioms on our dedicated Pinterest board!