Today is April first, and in the many parts of the world, that means it's All Fool's Day. It's a day when people go to great lengths to play tricks on each other, and pull other humorous stunts. So it's a good time to learn how an Italian might talk about those things.

Some April Fools vocabulary

to joke, to kid, to screw around.
Io solo scherzo con te.

a trick. a prank.
Fare uno scherzo a qualcuno.

È un gioco da ragazzi.

to laugh.
Ridere di qualcosa.

Rideva ad ogni sua battuta.

foolishness. nonsense.
Per poco non dicevo una sciocchezza.

A joke or funny story.
Siamo diventati una barzelletta

to enjoy oneself. to have fun.
Divertirsi alle spalle di qualcuno.

prendere in giro qualcuno
to pull someone's leg.
Non mi prendere in giro!

Pesce d'Aprile
an April Fools trick.

Also, check out the WordReference forums for a better understanding of the difference between barzelletta, battuta, and scherzo.

Italian April Fools Traditions

April Fools Day holds a very prominent place in Italian culture, with people playing pranks on each other all day long. Tricks played on April Fools Day are referred to as Pesce d'Aprile, literally April Fish, referring to the fish which are newly hatched and therefore naïve and easy to catch.

A common pesce d'aprile for youngsters, is to tape a pesciolino to their back.. The victim is then asked:

L'hai visto?
Il pesce d'Aprile!

Traditionally, an actual dead fish was used, with the intention that the victim would notice it due to the smell. Today, paper fish are more appropriate.



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