Cadere dal pero

Cadere dal pero in Italian

Cadere dal pero
To be lost for words

Literal translationTo fall off the pear tree
MeaningBeing taken by surprise in a somewhat negative way, being naive
IPA pronunciation/kaˈdeːre dal ˈpɛːro/

Where does this come from? Falling off a tree all of a sudden is not pleasant. This idiom is often used to describe people who are naive about the world, because they seem to be stuck high up in a tree, oblivious to everything else. When they fall, that is, when reality hits them, they hit the ground and get hurt.

Now, why is it a pear tree and not some other type of tree? Pear trees are tall trees and they are fairly common in Italy, stretching even 17 meters from the ground. At that height, it’s hard to get to know what happens on ground level, and a fall is going to hurt!

embarrassed boy covering his face with his hands

For example, you can say…

Michele è caduto dal pero: non sapeva niente.
Michele was flabbergasted: he did not know anything.

Paolo è così ingenuo! Cade sempre dal pero.
Paolo is so naive! He is always lost for words.

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