What’s the meaning of “Darsi la zappa sui piedi”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian saying Darsi la zappa sui piedi along with its pronunciation. If you often end up hurting yourself unintentionally, this idiom is for you.

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


Darsi la zappa sui piedi

Meaning of the expression

Darsi la zappa sui piedi can be literally translated as “to give yourself the hoe on your feet”. It means to hurt yourself when you don’t mean to. If you make a decision out of haste and without thinking, you may end up hurting yourself.

It comes from zappa, which means hoe, and piedi, which means feet. Darsi is a reflexive verb with the meaning “to give oneself”. A variant of this saying is tirarsi la zappa sui piedi, from tirare, to throw.

This is the equivalent of the Italian equivalent of the English saying to shoot yourself in the foot.

fighter hit by an energy blast

Pronunciation of Darsi la zappa sui piedi in Italian

Now let’s hear how this proverb is pronounced.

Darsi la zappa sui piedi
To shoot yourself in the foot

For example, you could say…

Accettando l’offerta, Enrico si è dato la zappa sui piedi.
By accepting the offer, Enrico shot himself in the foot.

Imagine a farmer who’s hoeing a field. He’s tired, or maybe he’s in a hurry. He makes a mistake and suddenly hits his foot with the hoe…

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian saying Darsi la zappa sui piedi!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the proverb Darsi la zappa sui piedi 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

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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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