Mettere nero su bianco

Mettere nero su bianco in Italian

Mettere nero su bianco
To put in writing, to clearly state in black and write

Literal translationTo put black on white
MeaningTo make important things (promises, contracts, etc.) official and binding
IPA pronunciation/ˈmɛtteːre ˈnɛːro su ˈbjaŋko/

Where does this come from? Paper, la carta, is (more often than not) white. Ink is (more often than not) a dark color, either black or blue. When you write something black on white, it basically means that you are writing it down. This contrast of colors also has another meaning: black on white is clearly visible. The writer is not trying to hide any lies.

hand signing a digital signature

For example, you can say…

Saresti disposto a mettere nero su bianco quello che stai dicendo?
Would you be willing to put down on paper what you are saying?

Voglio la tua firma nero su bianco. Non mi fido di quello che dici.
I want your signature in writing. I don’t trust what you say.

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