Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by tena, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. tena Guest

    please tell me what a word furba in italian means?grazie
  2. edia Guest

    can someone explain what does word furba means in italian? thanks
  3. deorc Member

    North-east Italy - Italian
    cunning, clever.
  4. gi.gio Member

    Italy, Italian
    it's the feminine for a clever or cunning person.

  5. sandr8 New Member

    Antibes - France
    imho it doesn't exactly mean clever... usually it has nothing to do with it...
    sometimes it is even used with a negative meaning, as to say that that person is willing to cheat or trick...
  6. Faboo Member

    España. Español
    In spanish we would use the word "zorro/a" (but not as an insult like "bitch" even if sometimes it´s used in that way) so I would translate it as "crafty".
  7. vasilek Member

    I don't agree that this word has a negative meaning. It really means "cunning, skillful, resourceful". My italian teacher calls my cat "furbetto" :)
  8. ant Member

    I'd say that furbo/a has both positive and negative meanings; I remember an old nursery rhyme '…la furba volpacchiotta...' (the clever charming fox, i.e. furba as positive characteristic); but you may find the following bitter Italian phrase too:
    'Gli italiani si dividono in due categorie: i furbi e i fessi'
    Italians are divided into 2 groups: sly persons and fools (fools pay tax, drive their cars properly, do not steal and so on…); people like me are used to whisper bitterly "sono proprio un fesso…" on many occasions :(
    (by the way, could you correct my english when necessary?)
  9. curioso New Member

    Québec :French, English
    Buongiorno tutti!

    Se posso aggiungere qualcosa di piu.

    Sono della provincia di Québec e parlo francese. C'è una parola in francese "fourbe" che si pronuncia come "furba". Quella significa : una persona chi tende a ingannare". È sempre usata negativamente.

  10. theplanner Member

    Velletri - Rome - Italy
    ITALY- Italian
    The "Furbo" is clever, skillful, and what is most important always cares MOST for his own interest.

    Furbo = volpone, as in Ben Johnson's "Volpone, or the Fox" [ I may be mistaken about the author, it's a reminiscence of my schools years]

    No negative accent then, but he's not a Saint also! ;)
    ciao for now
  11. Blonde New Member

    Furba/o means the person is "false", they may act in a certain manner but it is not their true character, so false, two faced & cunning would be about right.
  12. scoiattolo New Member

    Many times on Italian ebay, you read negative comments that use the frase "fare furbo" by itself, so I would assume that would bring negative connotations with it. Almost as if that says "He ripped me off!"
  13. franceska New Member

    Born in Italy- Live in USA
    the best translation I can think of for Furba is this.....Smart like a fox.

    So it DOES have positive and negative meanings. It dipends on how it's used. I also believe it's more often used in a negative way.
  14. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    The correct expression is "fare il furbo":

    Non fare il furbo con me! Don't play with me!
  15. ikester Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    US - American English
    Several people have made reference to the fox... perhaps the word we're looking for is "sly". That's the adjective typically applied to a fox in English.

    It encompasses all the definitions that have been offered (cunning, clever, etc.) but with a connotation of furtiveness or sneakiness.

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