What’s the meaning of “Indorare la pillola”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Indorare la pillola along with its pronunciation. If you are afraid of being blunt, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Indorare la pillola

Meaning of the idiom

Indorare la pillola can be literally translated as “to gild the pill”. Its meaning is the same as the English expressions to sugarcoat it and to gild the pill, so it’s used when you want to talk about something and make it sound more pleasant or acceptable.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • indorare (to gild, from oro “gold”)
  • la (feminine singular definite article)
  • pillola (pill)
some pills of different color

For example, you could say…

Non c’è bisogno di indorare la pillola. Vai dritto al punto.
No need to sugarcoat it. Just get straight to the point.

Luca ha paura di risultare offensivo e tende a indorare la pillola.
Luca is afraid of being insulting and tends to sugarcoat it.

Pronunciation of Indorare la pillola in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Indorare la pillola.
To sugarcoat it.
Literally: To gild the pill.

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

Where does Indorare la pillola come from?

Ancient medicines that were good for our bodies often had a bitter taste. Swallowing them was a challenge!

We can count on artificial flavorings now, but back then, nothing was added to the concoction to make it easier to swallow. So people had an idea: they took to sprinkling the ingredients with another sweet ingredient to make them more palatable.

This sweet ingredient was usually a mixture of sugar, licorice, and honey that was golden in color.

Bad news is as hard to swallow as a bitter pill. To make it easier to swallow, we “sugarcoat” it.

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Indorare la pillola!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Indorare la pillola 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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