What’s the meaning of “Chi non risica non rosica”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning and the pronunciation of the Italian proverb Chi non risica non rosica. If you don’t like to take risks, this idiom is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Chi non risica non rosica

Meaning of the proverb

Chi non risica non rosica can be literally translated as “those who don’t take risks don’t eat”. Its meaning is the same as the common English expression no pain no gain, so it’s used to say that you can’t achieve anything if you don’t put in the effort.

Linguistically speaking, this idiom features unusual verbs and can be broken down into…

  • chi (who)
  • non (not)
  • risica (takes risks, from risicare, a Tuscanian variation of rischiare, to risk)
  • non (not)
  • rosica (literally to nibble or to gnaw, but here it means to eat)

Rosicare also has another colloquial meaning: it means “to eat oneself out of anger or envy”.

mouse caught in a trap

For example, you could say…

Se non rischi, non ottieni nulla. Chi non risica non rosica.
If you don’t risk, you get nothing. No pain, no gain.

La concorrenza sta rosicando per il nostro successo.
The competition is jealus of our success.


Pronunciation of Chi non risica non rosica in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Chi non risica non rosica.
No pain no gain.
Literally: Those who don’t take risks don’t eat.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, see the Italian alphabet and pronunciation lesson.


Where does Chi non risica non rosica come from?

Since the verb risicare is a Tuscan variation of rischiare (to take risks), it’s no wonder that this proverb has its roots in Tuscany. It teaches us not to be afraid to try new things. We should not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone because it will prevent us from getting what we really want. Unfortunately, many people trade happiness for security.

woman on bike looking at her phone

And that’s it for our lesson on the Italian idiom Chi non risica non rosica!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Chi non risica non rosica is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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