Ssssshhhhh, “acqua in bocca”, we are going to reveal some very idiomatic expressions used by Italians that you should really know perfectly in order to communicate and understand the meaning of each sentence, just like a real Italian. Don’t you know what “acqua in bocca” (lit. water in the mouth) means?
Well, then a good explanation is necessary! If someone addresses you with this expression it means they are going to tell you a secret, something very important and that you will have to keep it for yourself without telling anyone… are you capable?
Well, “in bocca al lupo!” (lit. in the mouth of the wolf)! You have heard this expression already, right? It is the most used good luck greeting in Italy, practically on any occasion.
While visiting pizzerias, pubs or different restaurants in town, how often have you had “l’acquolina in bocca”? Surely many, but you didn’t even know it so far! It is that feeling of longing for something that is about to come, generally very good food, that you cannot wait to taste and enjoy, and of which, perhaps, the smell of which is coming from the kitchen and filling the air. It is not a bad thing to smell while in Rome and it will happen many times, we are sure! Moreover, if you are of “bocca buona” (lit. good mouth) very often you will be attracted by the odours of different foods that you like: to be of “bocca buona” is said in fact of someone who would eat more or less anything and by extension also of a person with simple and essential tastes in the various domains of life.
Staying on the culinary subject we hope you won’t have to “rifarvi la bocca” (lit. remake your mouth) after eating some food with an unpleasant taste, although, when experimenting, it might happen. Maybe you have just tasted a typical dish of the Roman culinary tradition, one of those dishes with a slightly strong taste that you did not like at all, so you to run to the closest pastry shop to buy something sweet and replace the taste that is left in your mouth with something good. That is why it is called “rifarsi la bocca”! The term can also be used metaphorically to explain the need to replace a bad impression with something positive. And maybe you’ll also have to “cucire la bocca” (lit. to sew your mouth) or “tappare la bocca” (lit. to plug your mouth) not to tell anyone anything. For example, when speaking of the person who prepared the dinner that you didn’t like or the person responsible for the unpleasant feeling that you have experienced and wish to wash away. It is better not to talk and keep the secret.
Has it ever happened to you to “rimanere a bocca aperta” (lit. to stand open-mouthed) in front of something so beautiful it takes your breath away? Perhaps during a trip and maybe even here in Rome, while walking by its beautiful monuments or while admiring a sunset. The expression is used in fact to indicate the reaction of awe and wonder when seeing something immensely beautiful and amazing (a picture, a statue, a landscape and so on). Surely, in this case you won’t “storcere la bocca” (lit. wrench your mouth), that is metaphorically when you pull a face of disgust when you do not like something or when you disapprove of a certain situation.
It has probably also happened that you have talked of an event that is “sulla bocca di tutti” (lit. on everyone’s mouth), meaning a rumour of which everyone is aware, that probably made everyone talk about it because so surprising (for example, the divorce of a couple that we would have never suspected). However, we hope it was never you to have been on everyone’s lips… it is never pleasant to have people talking about you!
Hopefully, we will not have disappointed you by leaving you unsatisfied or “a bocca asciutta” (lit. with a dry mouth) in other words, without the information you would have wanted. Were we successful?