In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Sputare il rospo along with its pronunciation. If you can’t keep a secret, this proverb is for you!
Let’s start! Iniziamo!
Sputare il rospo
Meaning of the proverb
Sputare il rospo can be literally translated as “to spit out the toad”. Its meaning is similar to the common English idiom to spit it out or to spill the beans, so it’s used to describe someone who is shy and submissive but still musters the courage to confess something that makes them uncomfortable.
Linguistically speaking, this idiom is very simple and can be broken down into…
- sputare (to spit)
- il (definite masculine article)
- rospo (toad)
For example, you could say…
Coraggio, sputa il rospo: sei stato tu a rompere la finestra!
Come on, spit it out: it was you who broke the window!
Il ragazzo sputò il rospo confessando il furto alla polizia.
The boy spit it out by confessing the robbery to the cops.
Pronunciation of Sputare il rospo in Italian
Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.
Sputare il rospo.
To spit it out, to spill the beans.
Literally: To spit out the toad.
If you need help learning Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.
Where does Sputare il rospo come from?
For many people, toads are disgusting creatures. They are difficult food for snakes to digest, and unlike innocent frogs, their skin is poisonous. When you spill the beans, you can’t keep your mouth shut anymore. You have to confess (confessare) what you’ve done.
Now imagine that a disgusting toad finds its way into your mouth: wouldn’t you spit it out immediately? 😉
And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Sputare il rospo!
Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
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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