Un altro paio di maniche

Un altro paio di maniche in Italian

Un altro paio di maniche
A different kettle of fish

Literal translationAnother pair of sleeves
MeaningIt refers to something entirely different or unrelated to what was previously mentioned
IPA pronunciation/un ˈaltro ˈpaːjo di ˈmanike/

Where does this come from? In the Middle Ages, it was difficult to find clean water to wash clothes. Clothes were easily soiled by work. Women began to wear dresses with replacable sleeves. To “wash” the dress, they simply had to wear “another pair of sleeves”!

woman trying on a pink sweater

Manica is also used in these collocations:

  • vestito a manica lunga / maniche lunghe (long-sleeved dress)
  • vestito a manica corta / maniche corte (short-sleeved dress)

For example, you can say…

Non ho nessun vestito a manica lunga da mettermi!
I don’t have any long-sleeved dress to wear!

Questo problema è tutto un altro paio di maniche.
This problem is a whole other set of problems.

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