As everybody knows, Italian is a Romance language. Well, Sicilian is a mix of Romance languages and not only! It’s more than a dialect and perfectly reflects all the influences coming from French, Spanish, Arabic, etc. Moreover, in Sicily people use a lot of Sicilian common sayings that you cannot hear anywhere else around the whole country. Learn more on Sicilian Secrets’ blog.
If you were born abroad but have a Sicilian heritage, maybe you heard your parents or grandparents speaking dialect pretty often. And maybe you don’t speak Italian at all but perfectly know some Sicilian common sayings. On the other side, if you are a tourist, perhaps you’re curious to learn some proverbs and use them during your holiday on the island. Well dear readers, it’s time to study with Sicilian Secrets.
L’ amuri è come a tussi…nun si po ammucciari
Love and a cough cannot be concealed.
At the market
If you are visiting one of the traditional street markets on the island, there are a bunch of Sicilian common sayings you can use…just for fun! Here are a couple of advice and recommendations…
Cu’ accatta abbisogna di cent’occhi; cu’ vinni d’un sulu.
Who buys needs one-hundred eyes (has to pay attention); who sells needs just one.
Cui nun voli pagari, s’assuggetta ad ogni pattu.
Who doesn’t intend to pay, signs any contract.
But you will always pay, won’t you?
Accatta di quattru e vinni d’ottu.
Buy something cheap and sell it at a double price.
What’s the weather like?
Sicilians are always interested in weather forecast and many times associate some specific events to the temperature or the cloudy (or sunny) sky. Trust me, it’s one of the most traditional things you can hear around.
When it’s stormy, don’t worry! According to one of the most famous Sicilian common sayings Burrasca furiusa prestu passa (Any furious storm passes quickly).
But pay attention when it’s sunny in winter, especially in January, because…
…Si jinnaru ‘un jinnaría, frivaru malu pensa (If it isn’t wintry in January then expect the worst weather in February).
Everybody in Sicily knows that Una bedda jurnata nun fa stati (One sunny day doesn’t mean that summer is coming)!
Sicilian common sayings for every day
And now, here are some of the most used common sayings. These can be very useful when you deal with a Sicilian. They know these proverbs, so be ready for a very hilarious conversation!
If someone talks too much and is not able to keep a secret, suggest them to buy the so-called ‘talk-less’…Accattati u parrapicca!
If someone looks for you only when they need it (and then disappears…), invite them to ‘enjoy winter in the same place where they spent summer’, so Unni ti facisti a ‘stati, ti fai u ‘mbiennu.
And last but not least, remember that it’s always better to express your thoughts if you want to be understood because…
…Testa ca ‘un parra si chiama cucuzza, basically it means that if you don’t talk, your head is like an empty pumpkin!