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“Mi incavolo”

March 25, 2011

Here’s your next Italian lesson.

incavolarsi“: to screw up, get confused.  It’s an extension of the popular replacement of the swear word ca**o with “cavolo” (cabbage), equivalent to saying “darn it” or “oh, sugar” in English.  Except Italians are saying, “What the cabbage are you doing?”  (Che cavolo fai?).

Mi incavolo is something that the kids I work with say a lot to express frustration with a certain task, for example, playing pingpong or sewing.  I just crack up inside though, as I hear them saying “I in-cabbage myself,” and imagine them transforming into a cabbage.


Non mi piace mica cucire, e` troppo difficile e poi mi incavolo. I don’t like sewing at all, it’s too hard and I mess up.

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