prendere a palle di sabbia


New Member
Russian - Russia
Hello everyone!
I've stuck on the phrase (or, maybe, reality). But - the context first: spring of 1947, italian beach, two boys in short pants, white shirts, sandals and socks. Home is 2 hrs away, so they're not getting really dirty.
The phrase is: "[Name], appena mi vede, mi prende a palle di sabbia". What are those "palle di sabbia"? What are they for? Some kind of game - like pétanque? Fight? (Hope not, because they're in white shirts.) Building castles? (How? Without getting into water?) Or is it just "play ball" (football, volleyball)?
Thanks for suggestions.
  • jjjmindless

    New Member
    Russian - Russia
    Surely I saw the picture (and many others as well :)), but what are they for? Because just making sand balls is not the thing I'd do on the beach.


    Senior Member
    As for prendere a..., it's ideomatic for (by and large) hitting someone with...

    - prendere a schiaffi, a pugni (to slap, to punch);
    - prendere a male parole (to insult, to call somebody names);
    - prendere a palle di neve/sabbia etc. (throwing snow/sand balls at somebody)

    So: as soon as he saw me, [name] started to throw sand balls at me.
    [ cross-edited ]
    Last edited:
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