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Italian Slang: Le Parolacce
Part 2: Dirty Italian Words
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"How would an Italian express the concept of 'a helluva problem?'"
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Linguistic Cleansing
Foul language is often met with attempts to substitute the offensive words with imaginative euphemisms. The noteworthy Italian dictionary publisher Treccani has even suggested: Basta volgarità e parolacce impariamo ad insultare con garbo (Stop vulgarity and bad words, let's learn to insult with grace).

Italian officials are no less guilty of puritanism. In an effort to scrub up their town names, several Italian city names were changed to supposedly less offensive, more gentile versions. For instance, Petescia became Turania and Scrofano became Sacrofano (not to be confused with scorfano, an Italian word for ugly person and also the name of a brutally ugly fish). Some towns, such as Merdassero and Merde, completely disappeared from the Italian geopolitical map.

If you're going to add Italian adult slang to your lexicon, at least recognize the wide variety of styles and how to refer to them. Here's a primer on Italian adult slang.

Dirty Italian Words
Click to hear the highlighted word spoken by a native speaker.

The Italian language in its most explicit, unrestrained, and passionate form can be downright raunchy and offensive. Use these words at your own risk. They may raise more than eyebrows—they may raise fists.

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