pick of the litter

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.
 
  • 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.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    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.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    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.
    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.
     

    vikgigio

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    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.
    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.
     

    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Cold Case, seas.4
    The sentence follows this one http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=531598
    DAYTON
    (overlapping) Look, lady, I was a jock, pick of the high school litter. I didn't need a fantasy life.
    DAYTON
    Stia a sentire, io amavo lo sport, ero il migliore al liceo :confused:. Non avevo bisogno di una vita virtuale.

    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.
     
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