Italian Word of the Day: Fortunato (lucky)

If you win the lottery, meet the man or woman of your dreams, or come into a great inheritance, your friends might say that you are fortunato (masculine) or fortunata (feminine), which is the Italian word for lucky. It has the same etymology as the synonym fortunate.

IPA: /fortuˈnato/ /fortuˈnata/

Mi sento fortunato di poter vivere in Italia.

I feel lucky to be able to live in Italy.

The plural forms of fortunato and fortunata are fortunati and fortunate respectively.

Ma vi rendete conto di quanto siete fortunati? Come vorrei essere al vostro posto!

Do you realise how lucky you are? How I’d like to be in your place.

The word for luck or good fortune in Italian is fortuna and the expression avere fortuna is an alternative way of saying to be lucky.

Spero di avere la fortuna di trovare una persona così.

I hope I’m lucky enough to find someone like that.

You can use per fortuna or fortunatamente to say fortunately or luckily.

Per fortuna hanno ritrovato i nostri bagagli.

Fortunately they found our luggage.

If you say Che fortuna! or Che fortunato!, you’re saying that a person is really lucky. A popular slang expression in Italian is che culo (lit. that ass) or che botta di culo. (lit. that blow of an ass). Only use it with friends you know well, otherwise you will come across as very impolite!

Ho vinto 5000 euro al gratta e vinci. – Che gran botta di culo che hai!

I won 5000 euros on the lottery. – How lucky you are!

If you want to say that you are not very lucky, on the other hand, you can use the negative structure non ho tanta fortuna (I’m not very lucky) or sfortunato/a (unlucky).

Ho perso il portafoglio e mi hanno rubato la borsa. Sono sfortunato in questi giorni.

I lost my wallet and my bag was stolen. I haven’t been very lucky these days.

I quadrifogli sono piante portafortuna. – Four-leaf clovers bring good luck.

Idioms containing ‘fortunato’

Matrimonio bagnato, matrimonio fortunato

Literal translation: Wet wedding, lucky wedding
English meaning: Rain is good luck on your wedding day

Ritenta e sarai più fortunato

Literal translation: Try again and you’ll be luckier
English meaning: Better luck next time

Sfortunato nel gioco, fortunato in amore

Literal translation: Unlucky at games, lucky in love
English meaning: Unlucky at cards but lucky in love

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