Datti una grattata

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expedito

Member
USA (Calif.) - English
Ciao!

I heard this in Italian: Datti una grattata, and of course the native speakers were talking as fast as the tongue can move, so I'm not sure if I heard it correctly. The explanation (anche veloce veloce) was that it meant something like "scratch yourself for luck."

I'd appreciate any corrections (I may be way off base) as well as any clarification of this expression.

Gracie in anticipo!

E.
 
  • MünchnerFax

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    Per se, this only means "scratch yourself". More context is needed for more precise guesses, particularly as far as the general topic or their gesture is concerned. The meaning can well be the one you said if the one was referring to the other's genitals, as touching them is said to bring good luck (no need to specify it's a gross phrase! ;))
     

    expedito

    Member
    USA (Calif.) - English
    Thanks a lot, MuenchnerFax!

    You've got the right context. The speaker said that her father said it and scratched his genitals just before he visited his aunt (who was very negative and people around her always died). I gathered it was a superstition to avoid bad luck.

    She said it was quite common and wasn't at all rude - which I found quite hard to believe. Maybe she was trying to set me up. Then again, some expressions and customs are rude in English but not in Italian, and vice versa. At any rate, I don't think I'll be using this one even if it isn't rude.

    Thanks again - I really appreciate your response!

    E.
     

    Pikus87

    New Member
    Italian
    Hi! I can confirm it is very rude even for Italians, even though it can be accepted by some people like very close friends. I can also confirm it is used to avoid bad luck, like when seeing a hearse, or hearing of his own death or the death of very close people or even, as in the case you provided, of bad lucky things, people or even names which are considered bringers of bad luck (I study at the University and there are many names of scholars which are thought to be very bad lucky and no one dares to pronounce them). I might add that this gesture can be done of course only by males, while females may touch their left breast. No need to say, this is as rude as the first one!
     

    giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Another way of saying it is: "darsi una toccata / ravanata" and the meaning is the same...is a warding gesture. I remember a phrase in latin (not sure it is original from the roman empire ;) ) that says:

    "in omnia pericula tange testicula"

    and was our motto while waiting for the teacher to choose who will be drawn for oral test!!!
     
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