What’s the meaning of “Mettere i piedi in testa”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Mettere i piedi in testa along with its pronunciation. If you disrespect others, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Mettere i piedi in testa

Meaning of the idiom

Mettere i piedi in testa (a qualcuno) can be literally translated as “to put the feet on (sb’s) head”. Its meaning is the same as the English expressions to walk over somebody and to trample over somebody, so it’s used when you treat someone with disrespect and disregard their feelings or opinions.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

drawing of an employer lifting an employee

For example, you could say…

Non permettere a nessuno di metterti i piedi in testa.
Don’t let anyone trample on you.

La manager ha il brutto vizio di mettere i piedi in testa ai suoi colleghi.
The manager has the bad habit of walking all over her colleagues.


Pronunciation of Mettere i piedi in testa in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Mettere i piedi in testa.
To walk over somebody.
Literally: To put the feet on sb’s head.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.


Where does Mettere i piedi in testa come from?

When you put your feet on somebody else’s head, it’s like you are trying to dominate them. You are behaving with arrogance, arroganza, trying to assert yourself over others. You convey superiority.

an arrogant man in a suit shouting

On the other hand, you don’t like it when people put their feet on your head. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, the same feeling you’d have if your opinions weren’t respected.

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Mettere i piedi in testa!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Mettere i piedi in testa 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

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