Nascere con la camicia

Nascere con la camicia in Italian

Nascere con la camicia
To be born with a silver spoon in your mouth

Literal translationTo be born with a shirt on
MeaningTo be a very lucky person, to be born in a wealthy family
IPA pronunciation/ˈnaʃere kon la kaˈmiːtʃa/

Where does this come from? There are two possible origins for this idiom. The first dates back to a time when it was traditional for close relatives to give a shirt to a newborn baby to wear after the baptism ceremony. The gift was worth a fortune, and not everyone could afford it, so babies who were gifted a shirt had an advantage in life because they were backed by a rich family.

On a less likely possibility, this idiom may have originated from babies who were delivered with an intact amniotic sac. The sac would act as a “shirt”. This is an exceptional occurrence, so it’s thought that babies born this way are very, very lucky.

lucky girl with a four-leaf clover in her hand

For example, you can say…

Non sono nato con la camicia. La fortuna non è mia amica!
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Luck is not my friend!

Alessandro è nato con la camicia. Non ha mai dovuto faticare in vita sua.
Alessandro was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He never had to work hard in his life.

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