5 slang words to improve your Italiano

Just like idioms, slang words will get you to the best of places when travelling abroad. When it comes to talking to locals, expanding your vocabulary, and improving your understanding of another language, they are definitely the way to go!

We at Gymglish have picked our top 5 slang words in Italian that will have you speaking like a native next time you’re in Napoli or Turin.

Ma figurati / Si figuri 

Ma figurati means “don’t worry about it”, “think nothing of it” and by extension “you’re welcome”. You’ll often hear this slang word after thanking someone or when you apologize. 


– Grazie per avermi aiutato a cambiare la ruota della mia bici.

– Ma figurati!


– Thanks for helping me change the tire on my bike. 

– Think nothing of it!

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Beato te, Beata te 

Beato te is an Italian slang word that refers to someone who gets all the luck and/or someone who is privileged. This exclamation means “lucky thing” or “that was lucky!”.


– Il concerto era tutto esaurito e qualcuno gli ha offerto un posto due ore prima.

– Beato lui!


– The gig was sold out, but someone gave him a ticket two hours before. 

– Lucky thing! / That was lucky! 

Note: Beato te can also be used ironically to refer to someone who is happy-go-lucky or carefree. 

Example: Beato te che non ti importa di niente! 

Translation: It’s lucky you don’t worry about anything!


The Italian slang word sbronza has a range of meanings, and all are related to… alcohol.

If you have a sbronza, it first and foremost means “to be drunk” or “to have a hangover”. A bit like an English speaker referring to somebody being either “smashed” or “wasted”.

Example: No pranzerò a casa dei tuoi nonni, ho una sbronza. 

Translation: I won’t be coming to lunch at your grandparents’. I’ve got a hangover. 


Scialla has become a very popular expression lately, especially with Gen Z. It tends to mean “relax”, “chill out” or “don’t worry”. Note that scialla is mainly used as a command.


– Non ho finito i miei compiti di italiano per domani

– Scialla, la prof ha detto che era facoltativo


– I didn’t finish my homework for tomorrow’s Italian class.

– Don’t worry, the teacher said it was optional.

Did you know? The term scialla was reintroduced into young Italians’ vocabulary thanks to the 2011 film of the same name. 

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Dai comes from the Italian verb dare (“to give”) and literally means “you give”. But it can mean more than that!

Dai means “come on!”, as in to encourage someone, but it’s also used to express surprise, affection, or even a threat, like the infamous basta! (“enough” or “stop!”).


– Perderemo il treno, sbrighiamoci

– Dai! Più veloce! 


– We’re gonna miss our train, hurry!  

– Come on! Faster! 

Bonus: Figo 

Just like scialla, figo is a very popular slang word with young Italians and is used to indicate something fantastic or extraordinary. Much like the English slang word “cool”. 

Did you know? Figo also refers to someone attractive or beautiful.


– I miei genitori mi regaleranno una macchina per il mio compleanno!

– Figo! 


– My parents are giving me a car for my birthday! 

– Cool!

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