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A Head To Toe List Of Maltese Body Expressions

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From the eyes to the buttocks, here are a few body-related expressions you were probably not taught at school:

1. Kallu

Callous: An area of thickened skin that is hard to get rid of – just like that person in your life who keeps sending you Facebook friend requests and asking you out. #getthehint

‘Kif dejjem b’xi kallu!’


2. Toqba ta’ sorm

Hole of an ass – NO, it’s not the same as calling someone an asshole. This one can be understood by non-Maltese speakers as ‘You lucky bastard!’ and must be said with a tone of hatred.

‘Illallu, sibt parking eżatt quddiem Tattingers?! Nirrak tixxawwat x’int toqba ta’ sorm!’

(What? You found parking right outside Tattingers? I hope you get a rash you hole of an ass!)


3. Kemm sibtek f’patatti!

Loosely translated to How I found you in my ass! It’s 08:15 and you’re late for work so where else would you find yourself if not behind a garbage truck? Every time you raise your hopes thinking it is going to take a turn, it doesn’t. 

Kemm sibtek f’patatti!‘ You mutter to yourself.

(Could also work for the aforementioned #1 kallu in your life.)


4. Qed ittini f’għajni

It’s giving me in my eye – For that crooked frame or tacky religious fridge magnet you can’t throw away because zija Lina brought it for you all the way from Lourdes and she often shows up unannounced. Or that damn tooth;

‘Qed ittini f’għajni tiċċaqlaqlek dik is-sinna kull meta titkellem Gary. Mur għand id-dentist u għidlu jaqlaħħielek.

(That tooth is irritating me Gary. Every time you speak, it wobbles! Go to the dentist and have it pulled out.)

‘Qed ittini f’għajni tiċċaqlaqlek dik is-sinna kull meta titkellem Gary.’


5. Ras tal-ġebel

Head of stone – The slightly more dramatic Maltese version of Hardheaded.

‘Josephine tiegħi għandha rasha tal-ġebel! Għalxej ngħidilha tieħu l-pirmli taċ-change of life!’

(My Josephine has a head of stone! It’s useless telling her to take her menopause pills!)

‘Għalxej ngħidilha tieħu l-pirmli taċ-change of life!’


6. Tibilgħu f’patattek

Swallowing it in your ass – This one is similar to pulling one’s leg in English.

A: ‘Għoġobni d-drama l-ġdid ta’ Eileen Montesin’   

B: ‘Int ħa ddum tibilgħu f’patattek?’ 

(A: I like Eileen Montesin’s new drama. B: Are you gonna keep swallowing it in your ass?)


7. Għajnejk f’patatti!

Your eyes in my ass! You may have seen this one in the form of a bumper sticker and wondered WTF? This sweet phrase is often accompanied with the devil’s horns hand gesture and is used to ward off bad luck. It is the same sign used at metal gigs, yet rather than pointing your fingers at the sky, they must be pointed at the person who has just spoken.

A: Qatt ma marlek m’oħra Pawlu?

B: Għaaaajnejk f’patatti!

(A Has Paul never gone with another woman? B: Your eyes in my ass!)


8. X’wiċċ imċappas

What a smudged face or What cheek! This expression can be used in any situation that leaves you incredulous.

‘Temmen li dak il-qattiel qed jinsisti li jkollu single room il-ħabz …mela ħaseb li qiegħed il-Hilton jew?!’

(Can you believe that murderer is insisting on having a single room…does he think he’s at the Hilton or something?!)


9. M’għandekx ħajta f’ilsienek!

You don’t have a thread in your tongue! – Something you tell someone blunt. Or drunk. Or Emmy Bezzina.


Trid tkun kallu? Let us know what other Maltese body-related expressions you often hear or use!

READ NEXT: Maltese Words To Use When You Want To Show Off

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