What’s the meaning of “Avere il pollice verde”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Avere il pollice verde along with its pronunciation. If you like gardening, this expression is for you!

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Avere il pollice verde

Meaning of the idiom

Avere il pollice verde can be literally translated as “to have a green thumb”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to have green fingers, so it means “to have a way with plants, to be good at gardening”.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

woman tending to a few plants

For example, you could say…

Non ho assolutamente il pollice verde: tutte le mie piante muoiono!
I have absolutely no green fingers: all my plants die!

Michela ha il pollice verde e il suo giardino è pieno di bellissimi fiori.
Michela has green fingers and her garden is full of beautiful flowers.

Pronunciation of Avere il pollice verde in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Avere il pollice verde.
To have green fingers.
Literally: To have a green thumb.

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

Where does Avere il pollice verde come from?

When you touch a plant with no gloves on, your fingers will turn green. It is also thought that there are some gardeners who hold plants between their thumb and forefinger, causing the plant to release chlorophyll and staining their thumb.

plants chlorophyll process

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Avere il pollice verde!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Avere il pollice verde 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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