Italian Word of the Day: Sgridare (to tell off)

The way you would say to tell off or to scold in Italian is sgridare. It is a derivative of the verb gridare meaning to shout or yell.

IPA: /ṣgri·dà·re/

Se faccio tardi mamma mi sgrida!

If I’m late mom will tell me off!


From this word we get the noun sgridata (scolding, telling-off) which may be combined with a variety of verbs:

  • fare / dare una sgridata a (qualcuno) = to tell (someone) off
  • prendere una sgridata da (qualcuno) = to be told off by (someone)
  • ricevere una sgridata da (qualcuno) = to be told off by (someone)
  • beccare una sgridata da (qualcuno) = to be told off by (someone)
boss telling off two employees
La capa sta sgridando i suoi impiegati. = The boss is telling off her employees.

Some possible synonyms include rimproverare, strigliare and redarguire, as well as the colloquial fare la ramanzina (a qualcuno) and dare una lavata di capo (a qualcuno).

Sua moglie gli ha dato una bella lavata di capo quando è tornato a casa.

His wife gave him a harsh scolding when he came home.


owner telling off her dog
La padrona rimprovera il suo cane. = The owner is scolding her dog.

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