Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco!
Did you hear someone saying “Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco“?
We bet you did!
This funny Italian idiom is very popular in Italy and often used by natives.
As you come across it, it’s quite difficult to say what it means.
If you try to understand this idiom word by word, the literal translation would be “Don’t say cat if you don’t have it in the sack”.
So what does that mean?
Well, as you know cats are very agile and quick.
So you can’t say that you caught a cat until that really happens!
Therefore it is as to say that we can’t make plans relying on something that we expect to happen in the future.
It might never happen to catch the cat!
The English equivalent is “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”, which expresses exactly the same thing.
Let’s read some examples!
|Avevo già comprato i biglietti per andare in vacanza ma il mio capo non mi ha dato le ferie. Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco!||I had already bought tickets to go on holiday but my boss didn’t give me days off. Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched!|
|Luca ha organizzato una grande festa per festeggiare l’ultimo esame, ma ancora non l’ha passato. Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco!||Luca organized a big party to celebrate the last exam, but he hasn’t passed it yet. Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched!|
|Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco: stai prendendo una nuova casa in affitto ma ancora non sai se ottieni un aumento di stipendio!||Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched: you are renting a new house but you don’t know if you get a pay rise!|
Do you have other examples in mind?
It’s easy to think of situations where this idiom is perfect!
If you want to learn more Italian idiomatic expressions you can have a look at our Pinterest board.
And then, check our online resources!