What’s the meaning of “Abboccare all’amo”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Abboccare all’amo along with its pronunciation. If you have a tendency to ditch people, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Abboccare all’amo

Meaning of the idiom

Abboccare all’amo can be literally translated as “to bite at the hook”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to fall for something and also to take the bait, so it’s used to talk about someone who is lured into a trap and falls in it.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • abboccare (to bite)
  • all’ (at the)
  • amo (hook used in fishing)
a fishing rod

It is also used in a literal sense to describe a fish taking the bait. Sometimes you can also find this expression as abboccare all’esca, where esca means “bait”.

For example, you could say…

Il pesce ha abboccato all’amo.
The fish took the bait.

L’uomo abboccò all’amo e si fece imbrogliare.
The man took the bait and was fooled.

Pronunciation of Abboccare all’amo in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Abboccare all’amo.
To fall for something, to take the bait.
Literally: To bite at the hook.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.

Where does Abboccare all’amo come from?

The expression is simple: when a fish takes the bait, it falls into a trap (trappola) specially set for it.

You can lure gullible people in the same way by setting a trap – figuratively speaking – and waiting for them to fall into it.

man falling into a trap for money

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Abboccare all’amo!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Abboccare all’amo is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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