• Benvenuta, Lady Marian! Questo è quanto suggerisce l'Hazon:
    1 (fig. fam.) (persona inesperta) duffer; dunce; (fam.) washout, dead loss: una - in latino, a duffer (o fam. a washout) at Latin; è una - a tennis, at tennis he is a washout (o a dead loss o he's hopeless at tennis)
    Hi there guys.
    Sorry if I come back to this thread but I'm particularly interested in the subject.
    I have a friend who's recently moved to Dubai as a tennis instructor and he's posted a video after he had asked a former and non Italian tennis star to make fun of some his friends in Italy by telling them they are "unskilled" as tennis players using the colourful and very informal word we all use to do this.
    Clearly this ex pro player plays along and says this word that's totally incomprehensible to him (he just repeated what my friend asked him to say) addressing a few Italian guys, also unknown to him, as incompetent players, with this slang term very common in this part of Italy to make fun of one another in a playful way.
    I understand these words change from area to area and often die out and are replaced by new ones.
    Anyway I wonder if "washout" is a noun (as the Italian counterpart we use is a noun) that tennis enthusiasts may use when they tease each other informally or are there other terms commonly in use, the likes of hack, dud...??
    Raf, which very informal word did he use? Schiappa? Anyway, I suppose you could call tennis players washouts, but it's not the first word that comes to mind. I'd tend to say they were useless or crap players.
    'Useless' is less offensive than 'crap'.
    Another word you can use is 'rubbish'.
    I think the Americans might say 'lousy'.
    I see. But consider this one "io non gioco con le schiappe" We need a noun here. What would you suggest?
    Translating literally isn't always the best option, in my opinion. Having said that, you could say, I don't play with losers! :)


    someone or something that is marked by consistently or thoroughly bad quality, performance
    There's 'duffer' (post # 3) - a little old-fashioned.

    'Dud' would be better. You can say 'lemons' too. Or 'no-hoper'.
    Thanks guys! Sorry I'm so late but you know...the Christmas frenzy....
    Anyway, Pietruzzo made the point. In fact I was looking for a noun, the ideal counterpart for "schiappa" and not an adjective.
    By the way LC, the word we use is not "schiappa", it's a very colourful one, though not vulgar at all, but I'm not going to write it as it's very local. Extremely common as well though, among tennis players.
    It means schiappa but it sounds more suitable to make fun. Schiappa is not used because it doesn't sound cool among the "in" players.
    Bottom line is: "there must surely be dozens of words used by the "in" tennis crowd working as perfect synonym for schiappa or its similar more modern versions but we should probably ask avid players who may be more in the know about this particular kind of jargon.;)
    Thanks Sorry66.
    I think we've got a few of them now: washout, dud, loser, lemons...
    Can you figure out a couple of friends teasing each other and saying: "I don't play with a dud like you" or "I don't play with a washout like you"?
    In fun I mean.
    My 2 cents. Washout doesn't work in this context. I can't think of an occasion to use it to refer to a tennis player. Definitely not lemon, either. Loser makes the most sense even if it is also Donald Trump's favourite expression...:eek: but it's very common. Dud, maybe. Also hack.
    Can you figure out a couple of friends teasing each other and saying: "I don't play with a dud like you" or "I don't play with a washout like you"?
    In fun I mean.
    Don't forget 'no-hoper'. Yes, I can imagine that (but I'd use the plural) but I think it's more likely that someone would tease in a different way 'You're useless/all over the place/ today, I don't want to play with you any more'.
    For me, using these words for fun is really pushing the limits - you'd have to know the person well to get away with it.
    I don’t know about Australia and Canada, but this sounds off to me. Hacks are usually talentless journalists in BE, and the meanings relating to horses (not their riders or other sports so far as I can see in the online OED) are new to me.
    A bad journalist was also the only 'hack' that I knew of until I read this thread, Mark. You live and learn! :)
    Thanks everybody for their "2 cents" about this interesting thread.
    I've got to the conclusions that apart from used and abused definitions such as "loser", some of the others are probably too restricted to a geographical area to be perceived as the first ones that would come to mind to a Canadian or a Londoneer. Different definitions for "schiappa" spring up in so many colourful forms in a relatively small area such as Italy, let alone the English speaking world which probably has a synonym to "schiappa" in Florida that is different from the one they have in Scotland and different from the one they have in Jamaica and so on...
    By the way Sorry66, it goes without saying that we use "that" particular form of jeer among us close buddies, but what puzzles me the most is the fact that it's not easy to find an BrE or AmE informal English "noun" to aggressively/or in fun define an unskilled performer .
    For example I was watching a football match last night on tv and I saw a player kicking a ball way up above the bar in the stands and I thought to myself: "what a... and at least 4/5 different Italian nouns came immediately to mind to address this bad play by this player. The likes of "schiappa", or "brocco", or "scarpone", or "scarso" or the infamous word I started my thread with and we normally use to make fun of one another among friends. They are all nouns. it's so common to say in Italy, "che scarso!" "che brocco!" and so on and when I imagine doing that in English I either stick to "What a loser!" or...I'm hard put to it, unless you guys confirm me that it sounds normal to say "What a dud!" "What a hack".
    Happy New Year!!!!!!:)