Me ne frego

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Bianconero, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Bianconero New Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    What is the meaning of this phrase?
    It's connected to the fans (Juve :cool: ).
    In the site it says that FREGO is the 1st person indicative of "fregare",
    and that it means "cheat" or "rub", but I don't find it apropriate.
  2. disegno

    disegno Senior Member

    San Francisco
    United States English
    Penso che la frase "Me ne frego" abbia il significato di "I don't give a care" o più forte "I don't give a damn"
  3. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Hello and welcome! :)

    Fregarsene, which is the infinitive form, means "not to give a damn", "not to care". I am not sure what the Juve fans precisely mean (there is a fascist connotation of the expression! :eek: ), but I suggest that you also visit these two threads: 1, 2.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Bianconero New Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    oh, 10x for the quick answer [;
  5. Bianconero New Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Jana337, 10x. I'll look at them.
    Btw, great forum. I'm studying Italian in these days and it'll be very helpfull.
  6. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    I disagree with Vittorio's translation as in the thread mentioned by Jana. I also disagree with Jana's translation. As regards the fascist expression, I have never heard of it, maybe I am too young to know, but I was not born yesterday, and I am sure my parents don't know as well, and they are older than Vittorio. I'll ask around to see if anyone else knows.

    Even though the verb fregarsene is quite informal, it could be offensive just because of its meaning:
    Non me ne frega niente = I couldn't care less

    Now I guess most people would not be happy to hear something like that... but it is not as strong as other expressions, most of all it is not vulgar.
  7. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    'me ne frego' like 'noi tireremo dritto' are well known mottos of 'fascist way of thinking'. i'm very pleased that younger people don't recognise them. maybe the uncomfortable heritage of the blackest Italian history is lost.
  8. archimede Senior Member

    Genova, Italy
    That's right. But please note that you will hear Me ne frego, Non me ne frega niente, Che ti frega?, Chi se ne frega (or Chissenefrega), etc. relatively often and almost always without this peculiar connotation.

  9. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    yes! that's true and i agree it doesn't convey any political meaning anymore. if i well read Vittorio's thread it simply states that this phrase 'was raised to the altars' in that gloomy period.
  10. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    La cosa buffa è che mi hai fatto venire in mente:
    è una ciofeca!

    Per carità, povero Totò, se sapesse di essere associato al fascismo ci rimarrebbe molto male!
  11. sylvie New Member

    hello everyone!
    I just want to know if I can say: "me ne frega" for saying that I don't care! in a very bad manner...
    it is correct this italian expression?
    thanks in advanced!
  12. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    Ciao, sylvie. The meaning and use of fregarsene has been discussed in several threads, including this one. You can use the search function to find other related discussions.

  13. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Yes, you caught the meaning. :)
  14. systema encephale

    systema encephale Senior Member

    Actually, if you say "me ne frega" it could also mean "I do care". But if you say "non me ne frega" or "me ne frego" then it means "I don't care".
    A couple of examples:

    Di questa partita me ne frega eccome!
    I do care about this match!

    Non me ne frega niente se te ne vai.
    I don't care at all if you leave.

    Non ti piace? Me ne frego!
    Don't you like it? I don't care!
  15. Dan1967 New Member

    French - Israel
    Wikipedia page about Fascist_Italy says: Me ne frego, literally "I rub myself about it," closer, in meaning, to "I don't give a damn": the Italian Fascist motto.
    I found myself a reference about this expression in the book of Ignazio Silone, The School for Dictators, 1938, p. 8. I quote: "I learnt this expression in the chapel dedicated to the fascist martyrs in Milan. It was sewn into the pennants of the 1919 squadristi".
    Ciao, Dan
  16. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    Hello, Dan1967. Welcome to WR. I would like to strongly discourage anyone learning this expression from using the Wikipedia translation. It's terrible, and would be misunderstood, to say the very least!!! Stick to the expressions provided in the first few replies.
  17. rafajuntoalmar

    rafajuntoalmar Senior Member

    Castellano (tanto argentino como peninsu
    Hi, Isp,

    I believe you should provide some arguments for your suggestion. The meaning of an expression partially emerges from the context where it is used. In the case of such a phrase as "me ne frego", using it without taking into account its fascist background may amount to risk serious misunderstanding. Keeping on with the motto trend: "Truth will make you free", don't you think?
  18. federicoft Senior Member

    What kind of misunderstandings?
  19. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I offer my own understanding of the usage, having lived in Italy for several years, as well as the opinions of others, including natives, as evidenced by earlier comments in this thread (and the many others on the same subject). Like federico, I wonder what kind of misunderstandings you might be referring to?
  20. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    I, too, would ask you to elaborate a bit more on that.

    Based on my native experience, there's no risk whatsoever of misunderstanding because of the origin of this phrase. Using it does normally not mean the speaker is referring to the fascist regime in any way. In fact, I believe quite a few fellow Italians out there don't even know it dates back to that time - and it's really not important to know. One should just keep in mind it isn't a polite expression and must be used considerately as any other idiom of this kind.
  21. dinu New Member

    I will try to sum it up for non-native speakers an provide a gramatic analogy with English to make it all clear:

    1) The "ne" particle: "Ne" is -not- a negative particle as it may appear to non-native speakers by similarity to "non"; "ne" is a pronoun that is similar to "it". It also has nothing to do with 1st plural person "noi". For example, "(ne) parliamo" means "we talk about (it)".

    2) Therefore, "( ( (3.frega)" has by default no negative connotation, it means "( (3.bothers) (". However, a number of additions to the phrase turn it negative: the very obvious negation "non": "non me ne frega"; interogation: "che me ne frega" (what bothers me?); quantizer: "non me ne frega nulla" (It doesn't bother me one bit). The positive form can also be augmented by using a quantizer like "me ne frega eccome" (it bothers me so much).

    3) Reflexive form:
    Both "me ne frega" and "me ne frego" have finally the same connotation, but they are gramatically different.The analogy with "bother" should shed some light:

    "me ne frega" = "It bothers me"
    "me ne frego" = "I bother myself with it" (reflexive)

    Obviously, the two forms are completely interchangeable except the following nuance: because "fregare" means "rubbing", and "rubbing oneselef" is derisive for not caring, the reflexive form is almost always used in a negative form and has a default negative meaning:

    "me ne frega" = it bothers me
    "me ne frego" = it doesn't bother me (literally, "I rub myself (with it)")

    Also, the irreflexive form is tentatively less vulgar than the reflexive form (something rubbing against you should be less invasive than you actively rubbing against it). Conversely, the reflexive form shows more pathos "Me ne frego di tutto" = "Fuck it all"
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010

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