In case you haven’t noticed, the weather hasn’t been very good. Actually, it’s been pretty pretty pretttty terrible the last few days (and predictions say the next few as well.) In an effort to coincide current events with my Word of the Day, today I bring you a weather related phrase: Piove, governo ladro!
Piove = it’s raining
Governo = government
Ladro = thief
All together= ‘It’s raining, thieving government!’
Now you may ask yourself, what does rain have to do with the government? Well, I’m glad you asked, you thirsty-for-knowledge, dedicated Young in Rome readers! Well, blaming the government for everything is an age-old Italian pastime, and the phrase is commonly said, in ironic fashion, to laugh at this fact: everything tends to get blamed on the government. Way to auto ironicize, Italians!
The root of the phrase is pretty interesting: According to Wikipedia (in Italian), one source links it back to the caption of a political cartoon of 1860, in a Torino newspaper. Apparently, there was a protest scheduled for a specific day that had to be canceled on account of rain. The newspaper printed a photo of a few workers standing under the rain, soaking wet, blaming the government, also, for the bad weather that ruined their protest, ‘Piove, governo ladro!‘
I gotta say, as a fellow complainer of everything, I love this phrase!
(PS- shout out to Claudio Delicato, of famed Starlette, who introduced me to the phrase.)