What’s the meaning of “E qui casca l’asino”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom E qui casca l’asino along with its pronunciation. If you often overdo it, this expression is for you!

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E qui casca l’asino

Meaning of the idiom

E qui casca l’asino can be literally translated as “and here falls the donkey”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression and that’s where you’re wrong and also and that’s where the problem lies, so it’s used to talk about a problem that many people have trouble solving, or a trap that people often fall into.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • e (and)
  • qui (here)
  • casca (“it falls”; this is a less common synonym of the verb cadere, which means “to fall”)
  • l’ (the, definite article)
  • asino (donkey)

This expression is also found as qui casca l’asino, without the conjunction e, and.

brown donkey facing right

For example, you could say…

I file vanno inviati in PDF. E qui casca l’asino, perché molti li inviano come immagini.
Files should be sent as PDFs. And this is where the problem lies because many people send them as images.

Qui casca l’asino! Molti sbagliano a pulire le scarpe di camoscio con saponi troppo aggressivi.
This is where the problem lies! Many people make the mistake of cleaning their suede shoes with soaps that are too harsh.

Pronunciation of E qui casca l’asino in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

E qui casca l’asino.
And that’s where the problem lies; and that’s where you’re wrong.
Literally: And here falls the donkey.

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

Where does E qui casca l’asino come from?

Donkeys can be very stubborn creatures. In ancient times, where merchants and farmers had to cross bridges (attraversare ponti) to cross a river, forcing a frightened donkey to go across the bridge was not an easy task.

black rabbit looking at a pool of water

The animal would try to escape, and in doing so would run the risk of falling off the bridge and into the water below. That’s why we say, “here falls the donkey” to indicate a difficult situation where it’s better to be careful.

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom E qui casca l’asino!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom E qui casca l’asino 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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