In the lion's den! 4 ways to say good luck in Italian (2023)

In the lion's den! 4 ways to say good luck in Italian (1)

Vonsteve d Last update:

to make many Italian friendsis not difficult.

It could be as simple as "Good luck!" accept.

So in this post, I'm going to help their cause by giving you four ways to encourage themItalian native speaker.

Throw these terms your way and you sure willenchant them to be your friends for life.


  • 4 friendly ways to wish someone good luck in Italian
    • 1. Good luck! (Much luck!)
      • That means
      • Good luck versus bad luck: The Italian bad luck number
    • 2. In the lion's den!
      • That means
      • Where do you come from
      • pronunciation tips
    • 3. In culo alla balena! (In the bottom of the whale!)
      • That means
      • Where do you come from
    • 4. Omens! (All the best!)
      • That means

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4 friendly ways to wish someone good luck in Italian

1.Much luck!(Much luck!)

That means

"Much luck"is the literal translation of "Good luck". It's the equivalent of Spanish."Much luck"and the French"Much luck."

The Italian"Bom"Ö"Bom"(good) is often usedwhen you want to greet someoneor wish someone well.

For example:

"Bon Voyage!"(Bon Voyage!)

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"Bon appetit!"(Enjoy dinner!)

"Happy Birthday!"(Happy Birthday!)

"Good night!"(Good night!)

„Fortuna“is the Italian word for "luck".

Good luck versus bad luck: The Italian bad luck number

Speaking of luck, did you know that your Italian friends think 13 is a lucky number, while the rest of the world shies away from the number 13 (and the bad luck it supposedly brings)? It's number 17 that makes your pimples tingle.


Well, the number 17 written in Roman numerals is XVII. This seems harmless enough, but rearrange the letters and you get VIXI. And no, it's not a luxury Italian brand. It is Latin for "I have lived".

"Lived", as in the past tense. In other words, your life is over. i mean you are dead

That's why sometimes there is no queue 17 on Alitalia planes or room 17 or 17 in Italian hotels.

You could call it superstition, but it seems Italy's experience with the number 17 isn't all that good. Let's take football for example. Remember that painful and divinely awful penalty shoot-out loss to Brazil in the 1994 World Cup final?

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Good! This happened on July 17th.

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2.Much luck!(In the lion's den!)

That means

Many believe wishing someone good luck directly will only ruin the situation and bring the opposite: bad luck. (Happiness seems fiendishly fickle and can only be persuaded, not commanded.)

Instead the sentence"Much luck"It is used by many Italians to wish good luck to a friend. Maybe they are about to have an interview or a test. Can you offer the set?"Much luck,"which is similar to the English "break a leg". Your friend has to answer"Crepe the Wolf"(let the wolf die) or just"Fan!"abbreviated.

Where do you come from

Nobody is quite sure how to use it"Much luck"it began. There are a few theories as to where the phrase came from, but like "break a leg," we can't pinpoint it.

allegedly,"Much luck"It was used to send hunters on an expedition."Lupo"(Wolf) here represents any danger, challenge, or difficulty one may encounter along the way. Yes, in life you will find yourself in the lion's den, but answering,"Fan!"(die), you say that you will overcome any challenge that comes your way.

Another traditional explanation for this Italian expression goes back to Roman origins. That's what the rumors sayRomulus and Remus, the mythological twin brothers who founded Rome, were raised by a she-wolf. They were originally left to die on a river bank, but were fed by a wolf and even nursed back to health.

In this tale, the wolf is naturally benevolent, unlike in the previous story where it poses a danger or an obstacle. If we assume that the phrase comes from the story of Romulus and Remus, then being in the lion's den is a good thing, since wolves carry their cubs in their mouths. In other words, the safest place for a helpless pup is in its mother's mouth, where it will be protected from all the tricks in the world.

The answer"Fan!"Throw a little difficulty into that explanation, though, because you wouldn't want the wolf to die if it represented security. If this second origin story is true, the answer phrase may have evolved centuries later when the rest of the story was forgotten.

In both cases you can use"Much luck"to wish your friend good luck.

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pronunciation tips

A note on pronunciation.: Italians love to contract noise and"Much luck"is a good example of this.

The sequential "Ace" in"the book"mi"Alabama"and the continuous "Ls" in"Alabama"mi"Lupo"allow the phrase to be pronounced as"in the mouthpiece".(That's essentially what you'll hear from fast-talking native speakers.)

In the same tradition the answer is,"Crepe the Wolf"(Die Wolf), with his series "Is" in"and so"mi"UE"e "The" i"UE"mi"lupo",might sound like"Snubwolf"into conversation.

3.Got it Wal!(In the bottom of the whale!)

That means

If you believe"Much luck"it is very dry and"Much luck"is very common, you might want to throw your boyfriend something ruder, with more than a hint of vulgarity.

Of course, don't use this on strangers or people who aren't close to you. The phrase assumes some familiarity with the person you're asking, especially if you consider this a standard response"In the Ass of the Whale"(at the bottom of the whale) is"I hope you don't shit"(I hope he doesn't poop). So yes, that just happened.

Where do you come from

Nobody knows exactly where this expression came from. Some say it first came out of the mouths of sailors.

Others are quick to point this outthe biblical story of Jonah, who was on a boat caught in a terrible storm. In short, the ship's crew decided that Jonah was unlucky and if they were going to survive those high winds they would have to throw him overboard. So that's exactly what they did! And the sea was calm again.

Meanwhile, Jonah was quickly swallowed by a whale and lived in it for three days before being taken to the mainland.

While we can't really pinpoint this as the source of the expression, there are some parallels, such as the concept of bad luck and the whale.

Also, English speakers shouldn't worry too much about the origins of"In the Ass of the Whale"when they have phrases like "it's pouring rain" and when phrases like "high probability" and "low probability" mean the same thing.

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That means

"Applause!"It can be a general term for wishing the best for someone. comes from the verb"want,"which means "wish".

For example yesIt's your friend's birthday, with you can greet him"Applause!"

You can also use at Christmas or Easter"Applause!"Short for"Merry Christmas!"(Merry Christmas and"Happy Easter!"(Happy Easter!).

simply from"Applause!"and the context of the occasion are taken into account. Whether it's a new job, a new baby or a new home, your well wishes will be considered.

Now you have four different ways to say "Good luck" in Italian and attract those new friends.

The best way to master these phrases is to hear them from native Italian speakers. That way you can remember them and make sure you're using them correctly.

If there are no native speakers, look for these phrases in the Italian media (TV shows, films, podcasts, etc.). You can also use language learning programs likefluentUshowing Italian sentences in context. In the case of FluentU, you can watch and learn words and phrases from authentic Italian videos, complete with interactive subtitles, flashcards, and quizzes.

Use the phrases as many times as you want and build real bonds with native Italian speakers.

Much luck!

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How do you answer Di dove sei in Italian? ›

To respond to either of these questions, you can simply say: Sono (first person of verb essere 'to be') + di (of) + Torino (city name).

How do you wish someone good luck in Italian? ›

If you want to say “good luck” in Italian, you would usually say “buona fortuna.” To be a bit less formal, you would instead say “in boca al lupo.” While it literally means “into the wolf's mouth,” think of it like the English expression “break a leg.” Both sound pretty extreme to non-native speakers, but they're ...

How do you respond to buona fortuna? ›

The most suitable answer would be “Grazie!” or even “Viva il lupo!”

How do you say best wishes in Italian? ›

Tantissimi auguri! – “Best wishes!”

What is dove abiti in Italian? ›

– “Where do you live?” – Coffee Break Italian To Go Episode 3.

What are some beautiful Italian sayings? ›

Ogni giorno ha il suo amore e dolore./Every day she has her love and her pain. Amore non è senza amaro./Love is not without bitterness. L'amore non è bello se non è litigarello./ Amor senza baruffa, fa la muffa./Love is not beautiful if it is not a quarrel. / Love without a quarrel, it makes mold.

What is Tutto bene? ›

Tutto bene. : –Is everything alright? –Everything's fine. informale.

What is the response to in bocca al lupo? ›

In bocca al lupo – “In the mouth of the wolf”

Some Italians think wishing people luck in the good old fashioned way by saying “good luck” brings in fact bad luck. They therefore say “in bocca al lupo” or “in the mouth of the wolf” to which you should respond with “crepi il lupo” or “the wolf shall die”. Crazy, I know!

What is a good luck charm for Italians? ›

A corno or cornetto, Italian for “horn” or “little horn,” is an Italian amulet worn for good luck and protection from harm.

How do you respond to Tutto bene? ›

When you're asked “Tutto bene?”, you can answer: SI, GRAZIE! A TE? – Yes, thanks!

What do Italians say when they cheer? ›

Salute. This is the most common way to say cheers in Italian and a pretty universal Italian toasting expression.

What does Andra Tutto bene meaning? ›

Pictures bearing the slogan andrà tutto bene – everything will be alright – are all over Italian social media today as people seek to reassure each other and brighten up days spent at home under quarantine.

What is a popular Italian saying? ›

Here are some famous Italian sayings: a caval donato non si guarda in bocca (don't look a gift horse in the mouth), chi dorme non piglia pesci (you snooze, you lose), parla bene, ma parla poco (speak well, but speak little), tutto è bene ciò che finisce bene (all is well that ends well).

How do you use Tutto bene? ›

Tutto bene. All's good. If you are alright, you can just say “tutto bene”, meaning “all's good.”

What is a popular Italian phrase? ›

Start learning the most common Italian phrases

Mi scusi: Excuse me. Mi dispiace: I am sorry. Ciao!: Hello/Goodbye (informal) Non c'è problema: No problem. Buona sera: Good evening.

What does Scifo mean in Italian? ›

Schifo is how you say 'disgust', which is exactly what you'll provoke in most Italians by drinking milky coffee after noon. It comes from an early Germanic word that meant 'to frighten' – the same that gave us the English word 'eschew'. In Italian it's most commonly used as an exclamation… Che schifo! How disgusting!

What's Capito in Italian? ›

When used on its own, capito is the past participle of the verb capire and it just means 'got it' or 'understood'. This is usually used when you agree to do something, such as following an order at work.

What does pro bono mean in Italian? ›

'Pro bono', short for 'pro bono publico', is a Latin phrase designating an activity performed 'for the public good'.

What do you call a beautiful girl in Italian? ›

Bella – bella is feminine of bello and it is used before or after singular, feminine nouns. Some examples are: Una bella ragazza – a beautiful girl. Che bella signora – what a beautiful lady.

What do Italians always say? ›

What Italian phrases must I know? We've covered most of the essentials here including hello (ciao), goodbye (ciao), please (per favore), thank you (grazie), and excuse me (mi scusi).

What is the most popular Italian word? ›

The most used Italian word is arguably cosa, which translates in many ways in English — including “what”, “thing”, and “matter” — depending on its inflection, grammatical function, or the overall context of the sentence.

What is Tutto posto? ›

– Tutto a posto? – Perfetto, grazie. – Everything alright? – Great, thanks. You might hear Italians pronounce this last one more like “tutto posto” or “tutt'a posto”: that's fine in casual speech, but if you're writing be sure to spell out all three words.

What does Di Molto means? ›

di mol·​to dəˈmōl-(ˌ)tō dē- : very, extremely. used in musical directions.

What is the meaning of Prego? ›

interjection. /'preɡo/ (risposta / invito) please / you're welcome , after you , don't mention it.

What does Evviva il lupo mean? ›

After all, the legend of Romulus and Remus tells us the founders of the ancient city of Rome were saved as babies by a she-wolf. This might explain another, even more unusual response: evviva il lupo (long live the wolf)! In general though, the easiest response to in bocca al lupo is always crepi.

What is the saying crepi il lupo? ›

"into the wolf's mouth") is an Italian idiom originally used in opera and theatre to wish a performer good luck prior to a performance. The standard response is crepi il lupo! (IPA: [ˈkrɛːpi il ˈluːpo]; "may the wolf die") or, more commonly, simply crepi! ("may it die").

How do you say I wish you luck in Italian? ›

The most common way of wishing good luck in Italian is buona fortuna. It is the literal translation of “good luck”, and there's not much else to say about it. Another common expression is auguri, which means “best wishes” and can be used interchangeably with buona fortuna.

Why is 13 lucky in Italy? ›

The number 13 is considered lucky in Italy. Associated with the Great Goddess, fertility and the lunar cycles, the number is thought to bring prosperity and life — quite the opposite view than that of the western world.

What does the Italian good luck horn mean? ›

According Italian tradition Cornicello is a lucky talisman that will keep Evil Eye far from you, the corno is a symbol that has its roots in the antique "horn of... Lucky charm horseshoe- 18 kt/750% yellow Gold amulet representing the good luck symbol.

What is Grazie tutti? ›

English translation of Grazie a tutti in context

TRANSLATION. thank you all.

What does Ciao mi Chiamo mean? ›

The classic textbook phrase everyone learns on their first day of Italian lessons is Ciao, mi chiamo… which means Hello, my name is… but literally translates as Hello, I call myself... Ciao, mi chiamo Matteo.

What does Ciao Bella? ›

Ciao Bella translates to "Hello, beautiful" in Italian.

What do Italian say before drinking? ›

The Italian word for cheers is either “Salute” or “Cin Cin”. This is usually followed by “alla nostra salute”, which means “to your health”. If you would like to make a toast, you would say “fare un brindisi”. Italians love to say “cin cin” because it recalls the sound of glass touching when making the toast.

What does Cento Anni mean? ›

Over the years, we celebrated food and drink with the salute of “Cent'Anni”, a traditional Italian toast meaning “May You Live 100 Years”.

Do Italians say wow? ›

Ammazza! – This word means 'wow', 'oh my goodness' or 'I can't believe it'.

What does booby mean in Italian? ›

Translation of booby – English–Italian dictionary

a woman's breast. tetta.

What does Buona Serata? ›

Italian Phrase: Buona serata! (Have a nice evening!) - Daily Italian Words.

What is the prettiest Italian word? ›

What are the prettiest Italian words? Some beautiful Italian words are: Pensierino, Zanzara, Farfalla, Pantofolaio, and Addirittura.

What do dogs say in Italian? ›

In Italy, dogs say bau. Cats say miao. Fish say splash.

What do Italians say before a meal? ›

"Buon appetito" is an italian phrase said before and during a meal, thus, it is certainly categorized as an eating phrase.

Is Bene Grazie e tu formal? ›

With close friends, young people, children, and family members use the informal pronoun tu (you).
Very well, thank you and you?Molto bene grazie, e Lei?Molto bene grazie, e tu?
3 more rows

What is Mi Chiamo in Italian? ›

Literally, “I call myself”.

Why does Italy say Prego? ›

You are welcome

It basically is an automatism and it is considered the cornerstone of basic politeness. If someone says “grazie” to you and you don't reply “prego,” you might be considered rude, so watch out for that!

What does Mangia bene mean? ›

Eat! "Mangia Bene" Eat well! ️These are a few of the phrases we use.

Do Italians say Mamma Mia? ›

Mamma mia, which means “my mother,” is kind of like “Oh my God” in English. While Americans often think mamma mia is only an expression of surprise, Italians might say it when they're angry, upset, surprised or sometimes even amused.

What does di dove sei mean? ›

di dove sei? where are you from? ⧫ where do you come from?

How do you reply to Dove abiti? ›

Dove abiti? Meaning: Where do live? Response: Abita a *place*.

What does di dove sei mean in Italian to English? ›

– “Where are you from?” – Coffee Break Italian To Go Episode 2.

How do you accept a compliment in Italian? ›

In Italy, we generally like to receive compliments and to be praised.
So, while the general response to compliments is thankfulness:
  1. Grazie. (“Thank you.” / “Thanks.” )
  2. Grazie mille. (“Many thanks,” but literally “a thousand thanks” )
  3. Che gentile! (“How kind!” )
  4. Che carino! (“How nice!” )
May 28, 2020

What does ARO say in Italian? ›

''In the Volturi chamber, Aro speaks Italian — 'La Tua Cantante' should be easy for readers of the books — he's referring to Bella's being Edward's 'singer,' whose blood calls out to him stronger than anyone else's. Later, when Bella tells him that he doesn't know anything about Edward's soul, he replies, 'Fore ...

What does un po di mean in Italian? ›

They mean “a little”, “a few” or “a bit of” in this case. The phrase “un po'” is always followed by the phrase “di + noun” and is used to express a variable amount.

What does Bo in Italy mean? ›

(Bo) This may be my favorite word in Italian, which is why it made it into the title of this article. I use this ALL THE TIME in English. I just cannot help it! It means “I don't know”, but being just one little single-syllable, 3 letter word, makes it so utterly perfect.

How do you respond to Come Stai? ›

If you are asked “come stai?” or “come va?” and you are fine, then the best way to answer is “bene”. If you feel extremely good, you can also say “molto bene.”

How do you respond to Come si chiama? ›

The most natural responses to this question is Mi chiamo ____ (I call myself ___) or Io sono ____ (I am ___). E tu, come ti chiami? – Mi chiamo Giulio… te l'ho già detto mille volte!

What does Soro mean in Italian? ›

to hurt, to be sore.

What does Avoja mean in Italian? ›

Avoja! – This word means 'very much' or “a lot”. Dai – “come on”. In Romanesco it is often written as 'daje'.

What does Wee Wee mean in Italian? ›

wee-wee {noun}

pipì {f} [child.

What's a famous Italian saying? ›

Here are five that are frequently used in Italy:
  • Chi Dorme Non Piglia Pesci – “You Snooze, You Lose” ...
  • Chi Fa Da Sé, Fa Per Tre – “Do It Yourself If You Want It Done Right” ...
  • Chi Non Fa, Non Falla – “He Who Makes No Mistakes, Makes Nothing” ...
  • La Pazienza È la Virtù dei Forti – “Patience is a Virtue”

How do you call a woman beautiful in Italian? ›

Bella – bella is feminine of bello and it is used before or after singular, feminine nouns. Some examples are: Una bella ragazza – a beautiful girl. Che bella signora – what a beautiful lady.

How do you answer che ora e? ›

Che ora è? To answer, you'll (usually) begin with Sono le. For example: It's 8 o'clock.


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