Italian Word of the Day: Attaccabrighe (troublemaker)

A person who is always ready to start an argument or pick a fight, often over trivial matters, is an attaccabrighe in Italian. The closest English translations are troublemaker and quarrelsome person.

cover image with the word “Attaccabrighe” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Because it is an invariable noun, its form does not change if you are talking about a woman or multiple people.

  • l’ / un attaccabrighe = masculine, singular
  • l’ / un’attaccabrighe = feminine, singular
  • gli / degli attaccabrighe = masculine, plural
  • le / delle attaccabrighe = feminine, plural

The word is formed from the verb attaccare (to attack) and the plural form of the noun briga (quarrel, argument).

Sembra gentile quando lo incontri di persona, ma sui forum in rete è un attaccabrighe.

He seems nice when you meet him in person, but he always picks fights on online forums.

Close up hand with laptop.
Un attaccabrighe sui social – A troublemaker on social networks

A less common variant of attaccabrighe is accattabrighe where the double tt and cc have switched places. The verb accattare, from which it is formed, means to plead or to appeal for.

Other synonyms are:

  • litigioso, litighino = belligerent (from the verb litigare, meaning to argue or to fight)
  • rissaiolo = someone who gets involved in physical fights, from the word rissa (scuffle, brawl)

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