Italian Idiomatic Expressions: A Finger of Wine


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 has to do with proportion, and could come in handy if you’re out for drinks with your Italian friends and you want to avoid having one too many. Whereas in English we might say, “Just a drop of wine for me,” indicating that we only want a small amount poured into the glass, the Italians have this saying:

Per me, solo un dito di vino.

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Literally, it means, “For me, only a finger of wine.” Now, you might think, “a finger of wine”? What kind of measurement is that? Well, it’s a heck of a lot more descriptive (not to mention accurate) than “a drop.” If you hold your hand horizontally and hold one finger up to the wine glass, it just means that the pourer should only give you an amount of wine approximately the same as the width of your finger. See? Makes sense now, huh?

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: Brunella Diez