A piss-up in a brewery

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Perfect Princess, May 30, 2006.

  1. Perfect Princess Member

    Vicino a Napoli, Italia
    Britain, British
    Is there a phrase in Italian that conveys the same 'flavour' as this phrase - essentially used by to critisize either a group of people or a person for being bad at organisation. For example:

    "I was really looking forward to the trip, but it was awful, the yellow team couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.":warn:

    "Don't ask Andrew to do it, he couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery":warn:

    It's slang - not one to use outside of contempory conversation. If I had to turn it into a more formal phrase it would probably be something like...

    ...he isn't to be trusted with any of the organisation - after all, even if he were in the right place to arrange something he would still fail to arrange it properly...

    grazie, PP
  2. ru_disa

    ru_disa Senior Member

    I guess you might say "non riuscirebbe a tirare su/organizzare una sbornia in un'osteria" - very unformal but not exactly vulgar. If you need to be vulgar you might say :warn: "non riuscirebbe a organizzare una scopata in un bordello":warn: ... you could even spice it up adding adjectives to :warn: 'Bordello':warn: - e.g. 'B. di Malta' or 'B. olandese'.
    If, on the other hand, you would like to convey the idea stressing the point that the subject is incapable of organizing group activities, I guess you could rephrase the last sentence thus :warn: "non riuscirebbe a organizzare una scopata di gruppo in un bordello":warn:
  3. shephia New Member

    I think the question was whether such a phrase was common in Italian. Because if you say to a (UK) English speaker "piss-up in brewery" they will immediately know what is meant even without mentioning "organise". I don't think it would be the same if you said "scopata in un bordello" in Italian. Maybe I'm wrong. Apparently the Dutch say "couldn't push a frog from a riverbank" although that seems to apply to a single person's uselessness rather than organisational ability (rather like President Ford's inability to fart and chew gum at the same time). There does not seem to be such a universally acknowledged phrase in Italian - x----x.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2010
  4. elena73

    elena73 Senior Member

    What ru disa suggested is a very good way to render the expression, but it's quite personal.

    What we have is 'organizzazione che fa acqua da tutte le parti'.

    ....ha un modo di organizzare le cose che fa acqua da tutte le parti (=meaning it has leakage points everywhere).
  5. Nerino Senior Member

    Salento, Italy
    What about: "gli organizzatori erano degli incapaci" ? Bye! :)
  6. Pola Vassimic New Member

    How about "non sapere fare la 'O' col bicchiere"? The expression is sef-explanatory as in 'a piss-up in a brewery' (you only need to turn a glass upside down to imprint an 'O' on a suitable surface) and, I believe, idiomatic.

    "the yellow team couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery" = "la squadra gialla non saprebbe fare nemmeno la 'O' col bicchiere"

    "Don't ask Andrew to do it, he couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery"=Non chiederlo ad Andrew, non sa fare nemmeno la 'O' col bicchiere"
  7. shephia New Member

    no still not right. It is not really a personal clumsiness thing. More an organisational or systemix thing. " No don't put Mr. X in charge of the Neapolitan rubbish collection; he couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery." I have heard the expression used to describe the shambolic way that the evidence against Amanda Knox was presented (in the foreign press).
  8. london calling Senior Member

    I've been here for years and am still unable to come up with a satisfactory translation in standard Italian for a piss-up in a brewery (or an orgy in a brothel, for that matter:)), apart from the obvious ones (which aren't at all funny).

    There's a thread about the expression Pola suggests here. They say it's regional and I must say that although I've never heard it in here in Salerno (or where I work, in Naples), the meaning is the same as the English, but, again, it isn't at all funny.:(
  9. elena73

    elena73 Senior Member

    Anche se non ha a che fare con un'espressione idiomatica precisa, ma piuttosto con un comune sottofondo culturale (almeno dei maggiori di 20 anni), la saga di 'Fantozzi':

    ".... it was awful, the yellow team couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.":warn:

    'E' stato terribile, il team XY qualsiasi cosa organizzi è peggio di Filini!!'

    LL'espressione "Organizzazione Filini" su Facebook dà più di 1300 hits e ha anche un gruppo su Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150455650003 (cioè è un 'concetto noto').

    Da Wiki: Seguendo il tema principale della saga di Fantozzi volta a dipingere vizi e virtù dell'italiano medio, Filini rappresenta il classico "organizzatore di tutto"

    The results are however always disastruos: tennis matches in thick fog, hunting expeditions (married against unmarried) that result in deaths and injuries, soccer matches in some sort of marsh land and the like...

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