What’s the meaning of “Prendere con le pinze”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Prendere con le pinze along with its pronunciation. If you are a spektical person, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Prendere con le pinze

Meaning of the idiom

Prendere con le pinze can be literally translated as “to take with pliers”. Its meaning is the same as the common English expressions to handle gingerly and to take with a pinch of salt, so it’s used to describe a situation where you don’t or you shouldn’t completely believe or trust something as it could be incorrect or fake.

Linguistically speaking, this idiom can be broken down into…

  • prendere (to take)
  • con (with)
  • le (the, plural definite article)
  • pinze (tweezers, pliers, from the singular pinza)
tweezers feeding a gecko

This expression can also be found as prendere con le molle, “to take with tongs”.

For example, you can say…

Luca prende con le pinze tutto quello che gli si dice.
Luke takes everything he is told with a grain of salt.

Prendi con le molle tutto quello che leggi su quel giornale.
Take everything you read in that paper with a grain of salt.


Pronunciation of Prendere con le pinze in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Prendere con le pinze.
To handle gingerly, to take with a pinch of salt.
Literally: To take with (the) pliers.

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


Where does Prendere con le pinze come from?

Using tongs and pliers to pick up something suggests the need to be cautios. You don’t want to take too much! When you take some news with tongs, it means you are skeptical, scettico, enough to take it in small doses.

a skeptical man

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Prendere con le pinze!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Prendere con le pinze 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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