Italian Internet Slang: How to chat like a local!

So, you’re firing off messages to your Italian buddy, feeling super proud of your blossoming Italian skills, when out of the blue they hit you with a farewell like this: C vd dm! Feeling puzzled? Ah, welcome to the wild world of Italian internet slang!

Love it or hate it, Internet slang has sneakily become part of our daily chats. Sometimes navigating this digital subculture feels like deciphering a cryptic code, but for the younger crowd, it’s as familiar as their native tongue. And guess what? There’s even an Italian band that’s penned a catchy song paying homage to one of these Italian internet slang words! 

Now, while some of these expressions might have slipped into the online conversations of the more mature crowd, generally speaking, most Italians wouldn’t exactly give a thumbs-up to this internet shorthand. So, it’s wise to sprinkle it sparingly and reserve it for the right moments.

Let’s take a look at some Italian abbreviations, acronyms and expressions frequently used on the web, including those sweet terms of endearment, so you won’t be left scratching your head over your Italian friends’ messages again!

italian internet slang

Italian Internet Slang Vocabulary

Italian internet slang is a linguistic playground where brevity isn’t just a virtue, it’s the reigning queen! Words get sliced down to their essence, sometimes even to just a single letter, and abbreviations can seem like coded messages. But believe it or not, this trend isn’t as modern as you might think.  

The art of shortening words has deep roots, stretching back centuries. In fact, revered Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi was already playing with word abbreviations back in the 19th century. Yep, you heard it right! In his letters, he casually wrote things like 8bre for ottobre (October) or 9bre for novembre (November). Talk about being ahead of the curve!

Below, I’ve categorised the most common Italian internet slang terms by type, so it’s easier to familiarise yourself with them.

Shot of a young african american basketball player using mobile phone while sitting on the court.

Words and abbreviations with a sound replaced by a single letter

A popular trick in Italian internet slang is using letters to stand in for sounds. Take the letter x, for instance. It stands in for the sound per. It might sound strange, but in Italian, the multiplication symbol x is read as per (for example, 2 x 2 = 4 is due per due uguale quattro).

And then there’s the letter k, which often replaces the hard c sound in words like ch and c when followed by the vowels a, o, and u.

saxesapereto know
sxiamosperiamolet’s hope / we hope
kkok okok ok

Here are some examples:

  • Arrivo x le 5 = Arrivo per le 5 (I’ll arrive by 5 pm)
  • Ke ne so! = Che ne so! (What do I know!)
  • Xé non mi dici km stai? = Perché non mi dici come stai? (Why don’t you tell me how you are?)
  • Kn ki esci? = Con chi esci? (Who are you going out with?)
  • Ke fai oggi? = Che fai oggi? (What are you doing today?)
  • Xfetto anke x me = Perfetto anche per me (That’s perfect for me too)

Words and abbreviations with a sound replaced by a number 

Just like in the previous section, there are times when a sound is replaced by a number that is pronounced exactly like that sound in Italian:

1uno/a one/someone
6seiyou are
80ho tantaliterally, I have a lot (in expressions like ho tanta fame – I’m very hungry; ho tanta voglia di te – I want you so much; etc.)
q8quotoI quote

Some examples:

  • Xé non 6 andato? = Perché non sei andato? (Why didn’t you go?)
  • 80 voglia di sushi = Ho tanta voglia di sushi (I really crave sushi)
  • Ke film 3mendo! = Che fil tremendo! (Such a terrible movie!)
Stylish mature female shopper looking at smartphone on street, Florence, Italy

Words and abbreviations with elisions and/or dropped vowels 

The following terms consist solely of consonants, with vowels often omitted. This is particularly noticeable in pronouns, where you’ll notice that final vowels vanish. And when it comes to verbs, well, sometimes they like to skip their endings!

aspaspettare/aspettato wait/wait
bstbastaenough, stop
ccius, there
cmqcomunquehowever, anyway
dgtdigitareto type
grzgraziethank you
kiamchiamare/chiamato call/call
prgpregoyou’re welcome
qntquantohow much
risprispondere/rispondito answer/answer
sapsapereto know
snsonoI am / they are
stasstaserathis evening
ttiyou (second person singular)
teltelefono/telefonarephone/to call
tnttantoa lot
trtroppotoo much
tranquitranquillo/arelax (mainly used in Milan)
vviyou (second person plural)
vlvvolevoI wanted

Some examples:

  • C 6 stas? = Ci sei stasera? (Are you there tonight?)
  • T tel dm =  Ti telefono domani (I’ll call you tomorrow)
  • Vlv sl saxe km stai = Volevo solo sapere come stai (I just wanted to know how you are)
  • C sn smpr x te! = Ci sono sempre per te (I’m always here for you!)
  • Grz, 6 dv 1 xsona speciale = Grazie, sei davvero una persona speciale (Thank you, you are truly special)

Understanding common phrases in Italian internet slang

Now, let’s explore some super concise Italian phrases commonly used online. Some are so obscure that they often leave many, including myself, totally puzzled when trying to decipher their meaning!

+ o –più o menomore or less
+ – xpiù o meno permore or less for
apa prestosee you soon
c 6?ci sei?are you there?
c sentci sentiamoI’ll talk to you later
c vedci vediamoI’ll see you later
cvdci vediamo doposee you later
dv 6?dove sei?where are you?
k fche fai?what are you doing?
ke bll!che bello!how nice!
mmtmi manchi tantoI miss you so much
mof?maschio o femmina?male or female? 
pfvper favoreplease
slmvsei la mia vitayou’re my life
t fcc sapti faccio sapereI’ll let you know
t kiam dpti chiamo dopoI’ll call you later
t prgti pregoplease/I beg you
t tel + trdti telefono più tardiI’ll call you later
tati amoI love you
tadbti amo di beneI care a lot about you (apparently, this is commonly used among teenagers as a softer alternative to “ti amo”) 
tatti amo tantoI love you so much
tv1mdbti voglio un mondo di beneI love you so much (used for friends)
tv1kdbti voglio un casino di beneI love you so much (used for friends)
tvbti voglio beneI love you (used for friends)
tvtb/tvtttttbti voglio tanto beneI love you so much (used for friends)
vbnva benethat’s ok
xesper esempiofor example

Some examples:

  • Risp pfv, dv 6 finito? = Rispondi per favore, dove sei finito? (Please answer, where are you?)
  • Tt bn, t tel + trd = Tutto bene, ti telefono più tardi (All good, I’ll call you later)
  • Tat, slmv! = Ti amo tanto, sei la mia vita! (I love you so much, you’re my life!)
  • C vd dm, tvb = Ci vediamo domani, ti voglio bene (I’ll see you tomorrow, love you)
  • Vbn, km vuoi = Va bene, come vuoi (Okay, as you wish)

English-based Italian internet slang

It’s quite common for Italians to incorporate popular English abbreviations like LOL, FYI, FOMO, or WTF in their chats and messages. But beyond that, Italian dictionaries are filling with new words created by italianising common English verbs and terms from the web and gaming universe. Here are some examples:

  • Downloadare from “to download” as in: Hai downloadato i file che ti ho mandato? (Have you downloaded the files I sent you?) 
  • Linkare from “to link” as in: Mi raccomando, linka questi articoli nel prossimo post (Please, make sure to link these articles in the next post)
  • Triggerare from “to trigger” as in: Quella canzone mi ha triggerato troppo (That song really got to me)
  • Loggarsi from “to log” as in: Mi sono appena loggata, ma non vedo nessuno in chat (I’ve just logged in, but I don’t see anyone in the chat)
  • Trollare from “to troll” as in: Hanno trollato Mario in quel forum (They trolled Mario in that forum)
  • Spoilerare from “to spoil” as in: Guai a chi spoilera il finale della serie! (Don’t spoil the end of the series!)
  • Droppare from “to drop” as in: Hai visto il nuovo video che hanno droppato su TikTok? (Have you seen the new video they dropped on TikTok?)
  • Buggare from “bug” as in: Il mio computer è completamente buggato (My computer is completely bugged)
  • Backuppare from “to back up” as in: Non dimenticarti di backuppare tutto prima di spegnare il computer! (Don’t forget to back up everything before switching off the computer!)
  • Hackerare from “to hack” as in: Hai sentito che hanno hackerato tutti i computer della scuola? (Have you heard that all the school’s computers have been hacked?)
  • Taggare from “to tag” as in: Ricordati di taggarmi nel post di Instagram (Don’t forget to tag me in the Instagram post) 
  • Bannare from “to ban” as in: Mi hanno bannato dalla community, ti rendi conto? (They banned me from the community, can you believe it?)
  • Memare from “meme” as in: Sto cercando nuovi video da memare (I’m looking for new videos to meme)
  • Nerdare from “nerd” as in: Ieri ho nerdato tutto il giorno (Yesterday, I spent the whole day nerding out)
  • Screenshottare from “screenshot” as in: Ho screenshottato tutte le stories con i loro consigli di viaggio (I took screenshots of all the stories with their travel tips)
  • Lollare from “to laugh out loud” as in: Abbiamo lollato un casino, Mario è troppo forte! (We laughed a lot, Mario is so much fun!)
  • Snitchare from “to snitch” as in: Mario ha snitchato tutto agli altri (Mario has snitched on everything to the others)
  • Whatsappare from “WhatsApp” as in: Io e Mario abbiamo whatsappato fino alle 4 del mattino (Mario and I have exchanged messages via WhatsApp until 4 am)
  • Googlare from “Google” as in: Hai provato a googlare il posto per vedere le recensioni? (Have you tried looking up the place on Google to check out the reviews?)

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