Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Freigeist, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Freigeist

    Freigeist Senior Member

    Italiano - Italia

    I found this adjective in a Canadian novel:

    He says: Say, Nomi, how about spinning a platter. Yeah, he uses those exact butt-clenching words.

    I have no idea how to translate it, apart from a pretty literal translation such as:

    [...] Sì, usa queste esatte parole da far stringere le chiappe.

    but it doesn't make much sense to me.

    Any suggestions?

  2. SighingatSilvio Senior Member

    Australia - English
    Most often, when you see 'butt-clenching' it is equivalent to 'fearsome', 'scary', and so on. That's because when people are frightened they can tend to lose control of their bodily functions, so one might clench one's butt to avoid a nasty accident in one's undies.

    But there are situations other than being frightened that can cause a person to be at risk of losing control. Like being really really angry, or even laughing really hard.

    Or just being sickened, nauseated, disgusted, etcetera. This is what is being said here.

    The expression 'spinning a platter' is very dated (circa 1955), so I guess the speaker considers it very uncool and thereby disgusting in consequence - sufficient to cause him to clench his butt.
  3. Freigeist

    Freigeist Senior Member

    Italiano - Italia
    Thank you, SighingatSilvio!
  4. italtrav

    italtrav Senior Member


    Ah, these young'uns. People were spinning platters (playing LP records) well into the early '70s.
  5. london calling Senior Member

    far rizzare il pelo
    far venire i brividi
    far girare lo stomaco
    far scendere le p***le:)

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