Avere un asso nella manica

Avere un asso nella manica in Italian

Avere un asso nella manica
To have an ace up your sleeve

Literal translationTo have an ace in your sleeve
MeaningTo have a secret advantage or a hidden resource that can be used when needed
IPA pronunciation/aˈveːre un ˈasso ˈnella ˈmanika/

Where does this come from? This idiomatic expression probably comes from the habit of card sharps who used to hide aces up their sleeves. Even if it comes from a bad habit, it’s worth noting that it has no negative connotation nowadays.

kid playing a winning card

For example, you can say…

Lorenzo ha sempre un asso nella manica. È un ragazzo pieno di risorse.
Lorenzo always has an ace up his sleeve. He is a resourceful guy.

Sembrava che Paolo stesse perdendo, ma in realtà nascondeva un asso nella manica.
It looked like Paul was losing, but in fact, he was hiding an ace up his sleeve.

Il baro nascondeva l’asso di cuori nella manica.
The cheater was hiding the ace of hearts in his sleeve.

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