Fried eggs and sweaty underpants: 10 phrases for complaining about the heat like an Italian

Fried eggs and sweaty underpants: 10 phrases for complaining about the heat like an Italian
It's dog hot. Photo: Justaf Abduh on Unsplash
The scorching temperatures that Italy usually gets during the summer months mean Italians are well practised when it comes to complaining about the heat. Here are a few phrases to try if you want to join in.

Fa caldo! – It’s hot! This is the phrase you’ll likely hear the most when Italians discuss the weather and your easiest go-to if you want to say that it is, in fact, very hot.

Che calura! – What heat! If it’s one of those intense, hot and heavy days, maybe what you’d describe as a sultry or muggy heat, this is the ideal phrase to whip out. It may be used to describe a day in which there’s a hot-humid air known as ‘Afa‘.

READ ALSO: Four to five light meals a day’: Italy’s official advice during a heatwave

Un caldo della Madonna! – A heat of the Madonna! Where in English, you might use religious figures to express how hot you are, like ‘Jesus, it’s hot!’, in Italian you refer to the Virgin Mary to say it’s scorching. If you hear this phrase, the person wants to emphasise it’s really, really hot.

Yes, it’s blasphemy in a Catholic country, but you’ll hear Italians say it a lot anyway.

Un caldo bestiale! – A brutal heat! When the sun is beating down on you and it feels deadly, this is the appropriate phrase for your word-bank. ‘Bestiale‘ can be translated as brutal, savage, terrible and most obviously, beastly.

When there’s just no respite from the sun’s rays, you’d be right to say, ‘Fa un caldo bestiale!‘ as you mop your brow.

Photo: Josh Rakower on Unsplash

Fa un caldo cane! – It’s dog hot! Dogs are used for emphasis in both Italian and English. You might say ‘I’m dog tired’ to emphasise how worn out you are in English, but man’s best friend is evoked to emphasise how hot it is in Italian.

And not just warm, but absolutely sweltering. So it’s not got anything to do with dogs per se, but instead is a polite way of saying you’re really very hot. They use the same idiomatic expression when it’s cold too –  ‘fa un freddo cane‘ means it’s freezing cold, or ‘it’s dog cold!’.

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Mi sudano le mutande! – My underpants are sweating! This one paints a probably too vivid picture. It’s so hot that even your smalls are sweating. It might not be the most polite phrase to use with people you’ve just met and are passing the time of day with. But if you’re on closer terms, it might raise a smile if you reply with this phrase when someone casually says, ‘It’s hot today, isn’t it?’. ‘Fa caldo oggi, no?’. ‘Caldo? Mi sudano le mutande!‘.

Photo: Rob Finney/Flickr

Sto facendo la schiuma! – I’m making foam! Another visually-laden phrase, which means it’s so hot that you’re foaming up, just like a frothy cappuccino. It’s not nearly as tasty as a breakfast coffee though, as this saying conjures up images of your body whipping up your sweaty bits into a foam. Delicious.

Si cuoce dal caldo/sto cuocendo! – You cook in the heat/I’m cooking! Just like a sausage on a grill, that’s how Italian summers can make you feel. If you want to really give some oomph to your comment about the heat, this saying compares temperatures with oven-like heat.

READ ALSO: Temperatures up to 40 degrees and ‘violent’ storms forecast across Italy this weekend

I’m cooking! In Italian you can say this to mean you are terribly hot. Photo: Kirsty TG/Unsplash

Mi sto arrostendo sotto il sole! – I’m roasting in the sun! More cooking imagery to describe unbearable heat. If you feel like a roast chicken on a spit it’s so hot, this one is the ideal phrase to add some extra flavour to your conversations about the weather.

Si può friggere un uovo sul cofano della macchina!You can fry an egg on the bonnet of a car! As temperatures soar, this phrase really shows just how high the mercury is rising.

You might say you could fry an egg on the pavement in English, which you might also hear in Italian – ‘si può friggere un uovo sul marciapiede‘.


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