Italian swear words

Every language has its own swear words, and Italian is no exception. Italian swear words, or parolacce, are used in everyday conversations, especially the milder bad words.

How to pronounce Italian swear words

To get you started, here are some of the mildest Italian swear words. Further on in this lesson we will look at the pronunciation of these and more Italian swear words.

  • Accidenti! - Damn it, holy smoke! (lit. accidents)
  • Porca vacca! - Holy cow! (lit. pig cow)
  • Porca miseria! - For God’s sake, for Goodness’ sake (lit. pig misery)
  • Porco cane! - For God’s sake! (lit. pig dog)
  • Cavolo! - Holy smoke! (lit. cabbage)
  • Col cavolo! - No way! (lit. with the cabbage!)
  • Madonna! - Good God! (lit. Madonna)
  • Madonna santa! - Good God! (lit. saint Madonna)
  • Che due palle! - What the heck! (lit. what two balls)
  • Dio santo! - Oh my God! (lit. saint God)

Resources for further reading:

Let’s begin with these, as they are reasonably safe to use!

Mild Italian swear words

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Damn it, holy smoke!

Porca vacca!

Holy cow!

Porca miseria!

For God's sake, for Goodness' sake

Porco cane!

For God's sake!


Holy smoke!

Col cavolo!

No way!


Good God!

Madonna santa!

Good God!

Che due palle!

What the heck!

Dio santo!

Oh my God!

Oh mio Dio!

Oh my God!

Al diavolo!

To hell with that!

These are harsher, but still very common:

Not so mild Italian swear words






Shit! (southern variant of “cazzo”)

Porca puttana!


Porco Giuda!


Porca Eva!


Che due coglioni!

What the f*ck




A**hole! (male variant; lit. “turd”)


A**hole! (female)

Testa di cazzo!



Go f*ck yourself!

Va’ a fare in culo!

Go f*ck yourself! (less common than “vaffanculo”)


Go f*ck yourself!



Figlio di puttana!

Son of a b*tch!


Kiss a**

Blasphemies almost always begin with porco followed by a religious entity (Giuda and Eva are exceptions, as we’ve seen above). They are very common among all age groups, although they are more common among teenagers.

People living in the Veneto region are famous for cursing (it could be said it’s almost a tradition), but in all other parts of Italy blasphemies are considered very rude and in a not-so-distant past this kind of cursing would violate the law. Be careful when you use them!

Thus ends our free lesson. I hope you learned tons of “colorful” words!

A presto!

Maria DiLorenzi: Rocket Italian

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