Italian expression of the day: 'Fa un freddo cane'

Jan 30, 2021 410

BY: Clare Speak

If you've only ever visited Italy in summer before, it can be quite a shock to find out just how cold it can get across the country in winter. When the cold is really biting, simply saying fa freddo (it's cold) doesn't feel like enough. Today's idiomatic phrase is used in spoken Italian on those freezing cold days. - Fa un freddo cane! - it's freezing cold!

The phrase literally translates as "It makes a cold dog", which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. But it means something more like "it's dog cold!" But what have dogs got to do with it? Much like with the English phrase "it's raining cats and dogs", clearly no household pets are involved - it's just a (polite) way of emphasising how awfully cold it is.

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