pick of the litter

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by LGGirl, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. LGGirl Senior Member

    English, USA
    Can someone please help me translate this phrase - "pick of the litter", i.e. when one is given the opportunity to be first to choose from a litter (covata). It is also an idiomatic expression meaning a person has many suitors and is pretty/nice enough to be choosy (jokingly).

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    I'd say something like "il migliore del gruppo" or " il può fortunato del gruppo", but I need to have a context for a better translation..
  3. LGGirl Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks, Paul. A good friend of mine was a model in Italy in the 80's in Italy. She's roman. I wanted to tell her that her husband should consider himself lucky to have married her given that she had the "pick of the litter", so to speak.
  4. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    If you want to keep the same sentence structure and therefore keep her as the subject, you can say that "lei era la più bella del reame", i.e. she was the most beautiful one.
  5. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    But in English, the emphasis is not on her qualities, but on the wide range of choice she had.

    "Pick of the litter" refers literally to puppies -- if you have the "pick of the litter", you get to choose which puppy you want out of a litter (group of puppies born to one mother at one time). A woman who had "the pick of the litter" could choose which man she wanted from many. Literally, therefore, ha avuto la sua scelta della covata -- but I have no idea if that makes sense in Italian.
  6. vikgigio Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    No, unfortunately "scegliere un cucciolo dalla covata" doesn't have any other meaning than the literal one referring to the puppies' litter. I don't think there's an equivalent for "pick of the litter"; you can say: "quella ragazza è così bella che da avere uno stuolo di ammiratori (tra cui può permettersi di scegliere)", but it's an explanation of the situation we're talking about now, it's not an equivalent phrase.
  7. danalto

    danalto Senior Member

    Roma, Italia, Europa
    Italy - Italian
    Cold Case, seas.4
    The sentence follows this one http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=531598


    (overlapping) Look, lady, I was a jock, pick of the high school litter. I didn't need a fantasy life.

    Stia a sentire, io amavo lo sport, ero il migliore al liceo :confused:. Non avevo bisogno di una vita virtuale.
  8. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US

    It is derived from "pick of the litter" - a fixed phrase.
    "The litter" is a group of dogs/cats born to one mother dog/cat. (covata)
    "Pick of the litter" means the best of all of the dogs/cats, and it is used outside of the animal kingdom.
    ...pick of the litter...
    ...pick of the (college graduate) litter...
    ...pick of the (soccer player) litter...
    ...pick of the (high school) litter...

    If you have a phrase in Italian that means "the best" but is figurative and colloquial,
    that's the one you should use.
  9. danalto

    danalto Senior Member

    Roma, Italia, Europa
    Italy - Italian
    Grazie, Tim.:)

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