Indorare la pillola

Indorare la pillola in Italian

Indorare la pillola
To sugarcoat it

Literal translationTo gild the pill
MeaningTo want to talk about something and make it sound more acceptable
IPA pronunciation/indoˈraːre la pilˈlɔla/

Where does this 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.

some pills of different color

For example, you can 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.

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