Some scholars consider “el dialètt milanes” a real language, the Milanese language precisely.
The Milanese call their dialect meneghin – just like Meneghin, a traditional character of the Milanese theater of the late 17th century, faithful and garrulous, who became famous among the masks of the “Commedia dell’arte,” better known abroad as “Italian Comedy.”
“Dialect proverbs are, therefore, authorial maxims that reflect belonging to a specific culture and place but whose meaning is universally recognized because they refer to the great themes that unite our culture.
No fear of not understanding! As you read on, you will find for each idiom its meaning, which you can explore even further by learning Italian in Milan
Ma va ciapaa i ratt
Is a very famous Milanese expression for telling someone off! Literally means “go get the rats”
Fa ballaa l’oeucc
“Fa ballaa l’oeucc, me racomandi!” (litterelly “your dancing eye“) means “Be careful, mind you.” It is a very common warning in Milan, urging you to be careful, to keep your eyes wide open: “your dancing eye” effectively returns the image of a good-looking, alert eye to everything going on around you.
On frecc de biss
“On frecc de biss” in Italian means “fa un freddo cane”! You can use this expression to describe a weather situation characterized by bitter cold, such as during winter days when temperatures go below freezing. The reference to the “dog” is related to a custom of the past of leaving these animals outside homes to guard property. The dog lived entire days outside even during the winter in precarious situations.
foeura el dent, foeura el torment
The saying means “Via il Dente, via il dolore” . Should the decision prove difficult for you, better then to take it now and think no more about it: the Milanese “foeura el dent, foeura el torment” corresponds precisely to this way of thinking, of acting
al couer se comanda no
“The Heart cannot be ruled” ! It is said that when you are in love with someone, you have lost your mind, so your heart is in charge, not your head!
quand el sol se volta indree la matina gh’ha l’acqua ai pé
Literally, “When the sun turns back at sunset, the morning has water on its feet. “Old Milanese meteorological saying, which can be summed up by pointing out that when the sun when during sunset, suddenly pierces the clouds and reappears, well, that is reason to have with you the next day, the trusty umbrella, because it is almost sure to rain (water on your feet).
Aveigh i parpai in del stomegh
Literally it means “Having butterflies in your stomach!”
Parpai are the butterflies, it is as if, when you are in love, a thousand butterflies stir you up, and besides your heart, your stomach is also affected, in fact, often to the lover either eats with great gusto or hardly touches food.
Milan, Florence, Venice, Rome and Taormina : in every city you go, you will discover creativity and musicality in the typical idioms of our Italian culture!
Clashing (because sometimes untranslatable in another language and more difficult to understand), playing and having fun with the idioms of our language will help you have an even more unique and authentic experience in Italy!