What’s the meaning of “Piantare in asso”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Piantare in asso along with its pronunciation. If you have a tendency to ditch people, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Piantare in asso

Meaning of the idiom

Piantare in asso can be literally translated as “to plant in ace” (it has a horrible sound, I know). Its meaning is the same as the English expression to leave somebody behind and also to leave somebody in the lurch, so it’s used to talk about someone who is suddenly abandoned against their will.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

a woman holding a flower pot

Piantare comes from pianta, plant. It can mean “to plant” or “to dump”, depending on context.

For example, you could say…

Il mio fidanzato mi ha piantato in asso per andare al bar con gli amici!
My boyfriend ditched me to go to the bar with his friends!

Ho piantato tutte le piantine di pomodori.
I planted all the tomato seedlings.

Pronunciation of Piantare in asso in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Piantare in asso.
To leave somebody behind, to ditch someone.
Literally: To plant in ace.

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

Where does Piantare in asso come from?

To understand the meaning of this idiom, we must first talk about Greek mythology, la mitologia greca. More specifically, the myth of the lovers Ariadne and Theseus.

After killing the Minotaur, Theseus and Ariadne traveled to the island of Naxos, Nasso in Italian. Here, Theseus left Ariadne in Naxos while she slept. The god Dionysus later found Ariadne and married her.

the minotaur

So the idiom started out as piantare in Nasso, “to dump [sb] in Naxos”, which later turned into “piantare in asso”. Aces have nothing to do with it!

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Piantare in asso!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Piantare in asso 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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