What’s the meaning of “Non cavare un ragno dal buco”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian saying Non cavare un ragno dal buco along with its pronunciation. If you have trouble solving problems, this idiom is for you.

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Non cavare un ragno dal buco

Meaning of the expression

Non cavare un ragno dal buco can be translated literally as “not to pull a spider out of the hole”, which has no equivalent in English. Instead, it can be translated as to get nowhere or to achieve nothing. For example, you might use this saying when you are having trouble completing a project despite your best efforts.

Linguistically speaking, this idiom can be broken down into…

  • non (not)
  • cavare (to pull out)
  • un ragno (a spider)
  • dal (from the)
  • buco (hole)
very tired man on the ground

Giorgio è un incapace. Non riesce a cavare un ragno dal buco.
Giorgio is clueless. He can’t do anything.


Pronunciation of Non cavare un ragno dal buco in Italian

Now let’s hear how this expression is pronounced.

Non cavare un ragno dal buco
To get nowhere, to achieve nothing


Where does Non cavare un ragno dal buco come from?

Imagine that there is a small spider tucked inside a hole in the wall. If you can’t get it out, it means you’re not that capable of doing things, so you will have a lot of problems when difficulties arise! 😉

For example, you could say…

Stiamo lavorando al problema da tre settimane, ma non riusciamo a cavare un ragno dal buco.
We’ve been working on the problem for three weeks, but we’re getting nowhere.

very tired woman and a little girl watching her

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian saying Non cavare un ragno dal buco!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the proverb Non cavare un ragno dal buco 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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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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