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

Abboccare all’amo in Italian

Abboccare all’amo
To fall for something, to take the bait

Literal translationTo bite at the hook
MeaningTo be lured into a trap and fall in it
IPA pronunciation/abbokˈkaːre alˈlaːmo/

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”.

Where does this 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.

a fishing rod

For example, you can 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.


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