Italian Idiom: Avere l’argento vivo addosso (to be fidgety / energetic / restless)

Is your child constantly bouncing off the walls, running on a seemingly endless source of energy? If this is the case, you can describe him or her as being “covered in quicksilver” in Italian. The exact idiom is as follows:

Avere l'argento vivo addosso

Argento vivo, literally translated as “living silver,” is the Italian term for quicksilver, an alternate name for liquid metal mercury. This idiom draws a parallel between a lively, restless or energetic person, akin to what English speakers might refer to as a “live wire,” and quicksilver’s characteristic tendency to scatter in all directions in tiny, elusive drops.

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