Italian SLANG: learn how Italian Youths Speak!

In this article we are going to analyze the language of Italian teenagers, that is often difficult to understand to those who listen to it, because of the presence of numerous slang that can be insidious. Stay with us, you won’t regret it!

The most common Italian juvenile words

Are you ready to learn the Italian Slang? It’s time to find out how Italian teenagers and youths speak! Let’s get started!

1) Limonare

It must not be mistaken for “limonata” (lemonade)! In fact, this word refers to the act of tongue-kissing (French kissing).

2) Avoglia

This world is used to indicate abundance in quantity.

Example: “Quante volte hai visto La Casa di Carta? Avoglia!” (How many times have you seen La Casa de Papel? I’ve lost count)

3) Bomber

This word is a synonym for  “latin lover”, “Don Giovanni”, or other terms used to describe a person (a boy most of the time) who is good with the opposite sex.

Example: “Quando ero più giovane, ero un vero bomber!” (When I was younger, I was a girl magnet)

4) Bordello

This word is simply used to describe a problematic, chaotic, confusing situation.

Example: “La mia stanza, come sempre, è un vero bordello!” (As always, my room is a mess!)

WATCH OUT: the word “bordello” is also used, è anche utilizzata, in a vulgar way to indicate “case chiuse” (brothels)

5) Botto

This word is used to indicate a great quantity.

Example: “Oggi ho corso un botto”, or “oggi ho corso tanto/molto” (I’ve done a lot of running today)

But teenagers often use it as synonym for “incidente” (accident).

Example: “Ieri Marco ho fatto il botto in motorino”, cioè “ha fatto un incidente”. (Marco had a scooter accident yesterday)

6) Coatto

This derogatory term is used to indicate a rude, vulgar person. In other words, it’s a synonym for “grezzo” (unpolished). It’s a term native of the city of Rome, but it’s in use in many zones of Italy

Example: “l’amico di Giacomo è un coatto!” (Giacomo’s friend is a boor)

7) Attizzare

This word usually means rekindling the flame, by shaking embers or coals.
However young people use it to indicate that they’re strongly attracted by someone, thus with a sexual connotation.

Example: “Quella m’attizza ‘na cifra!” (That girl turns me on so much!) namely: “Quella ragazza mi piace molto”! (I really like that girl!)

8) Sbocciare

This verb is used among the teenagers and indicates the celebration of an event through alcohol consumption.

Example: “Mio cugino mi ha invitato al suo compleanno: stasera si sboccia!” (My cousin invited me at his birthday party: we are going to pop /the bottles/)

9) Fare after

This expression is used to indicate the intention of  staying up all night, possibly by consuming alcohol.

Example: “L’estate scorsa, a Ferragosto, ho fatto after con i miei amici!” (Last summer, during mid-August, I stayed up all night, drinking with my friends)

10) Inciucio

This word has two meanings:

1)  also used by adult people, is synonym for: intrigue, scam, mess.

Example: “Spesso i politici si accusano a vicenda di fare inciuci”  (Politicians often accuse each other of doing the hustle)

2) more juvenile, it indicates: an affair or a relationship

Example: “Carlo ha avuto un inciucio con la ragazza del bar” (Carlo had an affair with that girl at the bar)

11) Fregna

This word is used by young people indicate a beautiful girl, but it can be unpleasant!

Example: “Lo sai che la nuova ragazza di Bruno è proprio una fregna?” (Did you know that Bruno’s new girlfriend is really hot?)

12) Scialla

This word is usually used as synonym for calm.

Examples: “Scialla, una bocciatura non è la fine del mondo!” (Cool off, a rejection is not a big deal!)


Tu sei un tipo scialla” (You’re a cool guy…)

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13) Friendzonare

This verb, that clearly comes from English, refers to the situation in which someone would like to start an intimate relationship with a boy or a girl who, however offers only a friendly relationship.

Example: “Nonostante tutti i suoi sforzi, Massimiliano è stato friendzonato da Sandra” (Despite his best efforts, Massimiliano was put in the friendzone by Sandra)

14) Beccarsi

The verb “beccare” usually means significa  “afferrare, prendere con il becco il cibo” (grabbing, taking food with the beak) , but young people use “beccarsi” to mean “vedersi” (to meet)

Example: “Ci si becca in giro!” (Catch you around)


Ci becchiamo dopo” (Catch you later)

The last word on the list is:

15) Ferro

It can be both a metal alloy and a chemical element but… young people use this word to indicate a gun!
In fact, in crime movies, it’s quite common to hear sentences like: “passami il ferro”, referring to the gun!

Speaking of movies, have you already watched our video on the 5 best Italian movies? You could find some interesting films to watch!

If you prefer reading, why don’t you buy our amazing book “Italiano Colloquiale: Parole ed Espressioni per Tutti i Giorni”?

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