What’s the meaning of “Nascere con la camicia”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Nascere con la camicia along with its pronunciation. If you have many lucky days, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Nascere con la camicia

Meaning of the idiom

Nascere con la camicia can be literally translated as “to be born with a shirt on”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, so it’s used to mean “to be a very lucky person”.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • nascere (to be born)
  • con la (with the)
  • camicia (shirt)
lucky girl with a four-leaf clover in her hand

For example, you could 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.

Pronunciation of Nascere con la camicia in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Nascere con la camicia.
To be born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
Literally: To be born with a shirt on.

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

Where does Nascere con la camicia 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.

funny drawing of a woman birthing a child

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Nascere con la camicia!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Nascere con la camicia 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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