12 Chucklesome Ways to Say ‘Funny’ in the Italian Language

Are you trying to find the word for “funny” in Italian? No problem! In this article, we’ve come up with a list of twelve different ways to describe someone or something that tickles your funny bone, along with the context in which each is used. Enjoy!


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1. Divertente

/di·ver·tèn·te/

Divertente is by far one of the most common Italian translations for funny. It doesn’t describe the kind of funny that would set off booming guffaws, but rather the subtle kind that elicits a joyful smile or laugh. For this reason, it also translates as amusing, entertaining or fun.

  • un film divertente = a funny / entertaining movie
  • una persona divertente = a funny / amusing person

Il film che abbiamo guardato ieri sera era proprio divertente!

The film we watched last night was really funny!


2. Buffo

/bùf·fo/

Something that is buffo is funny due to its strangeness, eccentricity or ridiculousness. Although it can be meant in a positive sense, it can also sound somewhat scornful.

  • un pagliaccio buffo = a comical / funny clown
  • un buffo modo di vestire = a laughable / funny way of dressing

It is from this adjective that we get the word buffone which means buffoon or clown.

Hai visto quant’è buffo il costume di Mauro?

Did you see how funny Mauro’s costume is?


3. Spiritoso

/spi·ri·tó·so/

The word spiritoso leans toward the witty or smart-alecky side of funny. It can also be used ironically to denote an inappropriate joke or kind of behaviour.

  • una battuta spiritosa = a funny / witty joke
  • un tipo spiritoso = a smart-aleck

Sei proprio un tipo spiritoso. Hai sempre la battuta pronta!

You’re a really funny guy. You’re always ready with a comeback!


4. Simpatico

/sim·pà·ti·co/

Simpatico, in addition to meaning likeable and kind, can also translate as funny if it is meant in the sense of being fun and entertaining, much like divertente. It is used to talk about people we can have a laugh with, or things that make us smile.

  • un tipo simpatico = a likeable / funny guy
  • una battuta simpatica = a nice / funny joke

From this adjective we also get the word simpaticone which means funny guy.

Tuo zio è proprio un tipo simpatico, lo sai? – Sì lo so, è un simpaticone!

Your uncle is really funny, you know? – Yes, I know, he’s a funny guy.


Happy laughing father, his son and daughter watching funny cartoon or show on digital tablet
Stiamo guardando un film divertente. – We’re watching a funny movie.

5. Comico

/cò·mi·co/

A pat on the back if you guessed that comico means exactly the same thing as comical! Like its English equivalent, it denotes anything that provokes laughter, especially if it is ludicrous or absurd. As a noun, it means comedian or comic actor (comica for the feminine).

  • una serie comica = a funny / comical series
  • un film comico = a funny / comedy film

La festa di capodanno nel film di Fantozzi è una delle scene più comiche che io abbia mai visto.

The New Year’s Eve party in the Fantozzi movie is one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen.


6. Spassoso

/spas·só·so/

Spassoso, like divertente, describes something amusing or entertaining. It comes from the word spasso meaning fun or entertainment.

  • un racconto spassoso = a funny / amusing tale
  • una persona spassosa = a funny person

Hai qualche storiella spassosa da raccontare?

Do you have any funny tales to tell?


7. Far morire dal ridere

The phrase far morire dal ridere literally means to make (someone) die from the laughter, so you’d generally only use it for something truly side-splitting.

  • un film che fa morire dal ridere = a funny / hilarious film
  • uno spettacolo che fa morire dal ridere = a performance that makes you laugh really hard

Il nuovo spettacolo di Paolo Migone fa morire dal ridere!

Paolo Migone‘s new show is so funny!


8. Scompisciarsi dal ridere

The meaning is the same as the previous phrase: you use it when something or someone makes you laugh out loud, but this version is more colloquial. It is composed of the reflexive form of the verb scompisciare which literally means to pee oneself. You can also say scompisciarsi dalle risate with risate meaning laughs or even use the verb on its own.

  • un film che fa scompisciare dalle risate = a film that makes you laugh out loud
  • una storia che mi ha fatto scompisciare dal ridere = a story that made me pee myself laughing

I tuoi amici sono troppo divertenti. Mi sono scompisciato dal ridere l’altra sera!

Your friends are so funny. I peed myself laughing the other night!


There are other expressions in Italian with the same meaning:

  • ridere a crepapelle = to split one’s sides laughing
  • sbellicarsi dalle risate = to bend over with laughter

People laughing at the party
Sto morendo dal ridere!

9. Umoristico

/u·mo·rì·sti·co/

Umoristico, which means humorous, isn’t used a lot in conversation, but it remains a valid translation for funny. An interesting fact about this word is that it is actually based on the English term humoristic!

  • un disegno umoristico = a funny / humorous drawing
  • un approccio umoristico = a funny / humorous approach

Sto partecipando alla creazione di un nuovo giornale umoristico. Mi sto divertendo parecchio!

I’m participating in the creation of a new satirical paper. I’m having a lot of fun!


10. Scherzoso

/scher·zó·so/

Scherzoso comes from the word scherzo which means joke, practical joke or prank in Italian. It refers to a person who likes to joke, or something done with a joking tone.

  • una persona scherzosa = a playful person, joker
  • parlare in modo scherzoso = to talk in a joking manner

Luigi parla sempre con un tono scherzoso.

Luigi always talks with a joking tone.


11. Esilarante

/e·ṣi·la·ràn·te/

Esilarante is another word that you can translate as funny, very funny or hilarious. Ironically it can be used to describe someone or something that is ridiculous or odd.

  • una commedia esilarante = a hilarious comedy
  • un’attrice esilarante = a very funny actress

Che commedia esilarante! È da tanto che non mi divertivo così a teatro!

What a hilarious comedy! It’s been a while since I had so much fun at the theatre!


12. Burlesco

/bur·lé·sco/

The word burlesco comes from the word burla which is another word for joke and a synonym for scherzo. It describes actions or words that are delivered in a playful way. It also refers to the burlesque genre in literature. It is more formal than the word scherzoso that we saw above.

  • dei modi burleschi = joking ways
  • uno stile burlesco = a burlesque style

Il poeta usa un tono burlesco nella sua ultima poesia.

The poet uses a joking tone in his latest poem.


Happy friends watching funny videos on a tablet
Questo video è esilarante! = This video is hilarious!

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