Italian Idiomatic Expressions: Water in Mouth


I love Italian idiomatic expressions – those sayings you just can’t translate directly but which make the Italian language the colorful and charming language it is.

Today’s saying is about keeping quiet, or rather a particular way in which to ensure that you won’t be talking:

Acqua in bocca!

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So, the translation I have for this is, “Mum’s the word!” But the literal meaning is much more colorful (and therefore typically Italian) – this phrase literally means, “Water in mouth!” See, if you’ve got a mouthful of water, you’re not going to be spilling the beans.

I’ll keep sharing Italian idiomatic expressions with you periodically; and if you’ve got a favorite saying, let me know!

If you like this one, check out some of the other Italian idiomatic expressions I’ve posted about, too.

Photo by: plentyofants