How do you say DIRTY in Italian?

How exactly do you say dirty in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being dirty in Italian. Read on to learn all you need to know!


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Dirty in Italian


Sporco is how you translate dirty into Italian. Let’s listen to how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to sporr-koh and it comes from the Latin word spurcum. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!


woman with a smudged shirt

Like all other adjectives in Italian, sporco needs to match the gender and number of the noun.


If a sweater is dirty, you would say sporco because sweater, maglione, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, you will say sporca, if you’re talking about a t-shirt, maglietta, which is a feminine noun.

Plural nouns behave the same way: if you want to describe a group of dirty clothes (panni, masculine plural), use sporchi. If you’re talking about some dirty shoes (scarpe, feminine plural), use sporche instead.

Sporco can also be used as a noun, translating into English as “filth” or “grime”.

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Language: English / Italian
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For example, you could say…

La maglietta è sporca di salsa.
The shirt is dirty with sauce.

Il papà infila i panni sporchi in lavatrice.
Dad stuffs the dirty clothes into the washing machine.

Hai le unghie davvero sporche!
Your nails are really dirty!

Il pavimento è molto sporco. Devo pulirlo.
The floor is filthy. I need to clean it.

filthy office room

To translate “to be dirty” as a synonym for “obscene”, use the adjectives volgare and osceno.

Ho letto un libro molto volgare.
I read a very dirty book.

Another less common word you can use to translate dirty in Italian is the adjective sudicio. Sudicio has a stronger meaning than sporco, so use to describe something that is really dirty.


Luca mette a lavare un maglione sudicio.
Luca launders a filthy sweater.

Quella maglietta è sudicia, cambiala subito!
That shirt is filthy, change it now!

To translate to dirty as a verb, use sporcare, from sporco, or insudiciare, from sudicio.

Stai sporcando tutto il pavimento!
You are soiling the whole floor!

To say that you soiled yourself, use the reflexive verbs sporcarsi or insudiciarsi.

Mi sono insudiciato la cravatta!
I have soiled my tie!

Se cammini nel fango, ti sporcherai le scarpe.
If you walk in mud, you will get your shoes dirty.

two kids playing in mud

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say dirty in Italian!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say dirty in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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