What’s the meaning of “Fare la scarpetta”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Fare la scarpetta along with its pronunciation. If you like to eat fatty foods, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Fare la scarpetta

Meaning of the idiom

Fare la scarpetta can be literally translated as “to make the little shoe”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to mop up your plate with bread: when you like a dish so much you pick up all the remaining gravy with a piece of bread, you’re “making the little shoe”.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • fare, to do/make
  • la, feminine definite article
  • scarpetta, little shoe, from scarpa “shoe”
gravy and rice

For example, you could say…

Quando sono al ristorante, faccio sempre la scarpetta.
When I’m in a restaurant, I always mop up my place with bread.

Fare la scarpetta è maleducazione?
Is mopping up your place with bread rude?

Pronunciation of Fare la scarpetta in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Fare la scarpetta.
To mop up your plate with bread.
Literally: To make the little shoe.

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

Where does Fare la scarpetta come from?

There are two different origins for this Italian idiom.

For some, a scarpetta refers to a particularly hollow-shaped pasta that helped to mop up any left sauce on a plate.

Some others think it comes from scarpa, “shoe,” alluding to a kind of cheap, low-quality shoe. This is because the action can be perceived as rude.

pair of blue and white shoes

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Fare la scarpetta!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Fare la scarpetta 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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