Non mettere il dito nella piaga!

How many times have you heard the Italian idiom “mettere il dito nella piaga“?

It is a very common expression Italians use in everyday conversation.

Idiomatic expressions are so important in the Italian language!

They make what we say more punchy and help us express exactly what we mean.

However, idioms can be very difficult to understand and incredibly tricky for students.

This is why at Happy Languages we always try to teach some common expressions you might hear from Italian friends or from your partner!

“Mettere il dito nella piaga” is not too difficult to understand!

If you translate it, the meaning will be quite obvious.

“Piaga” means “wound”, so the expression means “to put a finger in the wound”.

So the meaning is to worsen a negative situation, intensify or accentuate a bad feeling or emotion.

We can use this expression every time that someone makes something difficult even worse by doing or saying something inappropriate.

The equivalent expression in English is “to rub salt into the wound”…slightly different but equally painful!

So let’s see some examples to use this idiom!

Italian English
Anna mette sempre il dito nella piaga: sa che ho appena perso il lavoro ma continua a chiedermi se ne ho trovato un altro. Anna always rubs salt into the wound: she knows that I just lost my job and keeps asking if I have found another one.
Non voglio mettere il dito nella piaga, ma questa casa è bruttissima! I don’t want to rub salt into the wound but this house is horrible!
Paola è a dieta da sei mesi ma Lorenzo ha messo il dito nella piaga chiedendole è ingrassata! Paola is been on a diet for six months but Lorenzo rubbed salto into the wound asking her if she put weight on!


Have you got other examples to make?

If you want to learn more Italian idioms have a look on our Pinterest board or browse through our online resources!