Idioms with games in Italian

In this lesson you’ll learn the most common and interesting idioms with games in Italian.

Let’s start!

Click here to go to the idioms with games in Italian interactive exercises!


Idioms with games in Italian

There are many idioms with games in Italian. The first we’re going to see translates to to make fun of someone.

Prendersi gioco di qualcuno

This is used in exactly the same way you would use to make fun of someone in English.

Prendersi gioco di qualcuno
To make fun of someone
Literally: To take oneself play of someone

Alessandro è un prepotente: si prende sempre gioco di suo fratello più piccolo.
Alessandro is a bully: he is always making fun of his little brother.


Fare il doppio gioco

It means to play both sides, to be two faced.

Fare il doppio gioco
To be two-faced
Literally: To make [the] double play

Credo che Marco stia facendo il doppio gioco.
I think Marco is playing both sides.

A person who likes to play both sides is called doppiogiochista.

Doppiogiochista
Double agent

idioms with letters in italian - doppiogiochista
Doppiogiochista
Double agent

Per gioco

It translates to as a joke and is a synonym of per scherzo.

Per gioco
As a joke

Non ti arrabbiare, l’ho fatto per gioco!
Don’t get angry, I did it as a joke!


Mettere in gioco

It translates to to put into play. That is precisely what it means in Italian.

Mettere in gioco
To put into play

Ci sono persone che sono disposte a mettere in gioco la vita per affermare i loro diritti.
There are people who are willing to put their lives at risk to claim their rights.


Mettersi in gioco

Mettersi in gioco, however, means to put oneself out there, to take chances or risks. Between all these idioms with games in Italian, this must be my personal favorite.

Mettersi in gioco
To put oneself out there
Literally: To put oneself in the game

Per avere successo nella vita, bisogna mettersi in gioco.
You need to put yourself out there you need to put yourself out there.


Essere in gioco

It means to be at stake.

Essere in gioco
To be at stake
Literally: To be in play

Non posso permettermi di fallire all’esame. C’è in gioco la mia ammissione al college.
I can’t allow myself to fail the exam. My admission to college is at stake.


Entrare in gioco

It literally translates to to come into [the] play and is used in the same way as the English idiom.

Entrare in gioco
To come into play

Ci sono molti fattori che entrano in gioco.
There are many factors that come into play.


Gioco da ragazzi

This idiom is very common and iIt translates to a piece of cake.

Gioco da ragazzi
A piece of cake, child’s play

L’esame di guida è stato un gioco da ragazzi.
The driving test was child’s play.

idioms with games in italian - gioco da ragazzi
Gioco da ragazzi
Child’s play

Reggere il gioco / Stare al gioco

Both these Italian idioms mean to cover one’s back.

Reggere il gioco
To cover one’s back
Literally: To hold the game

Stare al gioco
To cover one’s back
Literally: To stay at the game

Ho detto ai miei genitori che sarei andato in biblioteca. Reggi il gioco, per favore!
I told my parents I would go to the library. Please cover my back!


Fare il gioco di qualcuno

It literally means to play someone’s game.

Fare il gioco di qualcuno
To play someone’s game

Luca ti sta facendo fare il suo gioco e tu nemmeno te ne accorgi.
Luca is making you play his game and you’re not even aware of it.


Scoprire il gioco di qualcuno

It means to reveal your hidden motives. It is similar to scoprire le carte, meaning to flip one’s cards.

Scoprire il gioco di qualcuno
To reveal one’s hidden motives

Non riuscirai più a fregarmi, Daniele. Ho scoperto il tuo gioco.
You won’t fool me again, Daniele. I know the game you’re playing.


What next?

Click here to go to the idioms with games in Italian interactive exercises!

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