Italian Word of the Day: Piantagrane (troublemaker / nitpicker)

The word for a pedantic person who raises questions and objections, and causes difficulties or problems over things of little importance is piantagrane in Italian. Some possible translations in English include troublemaker, fault-finder and nitpicker.

Piantagrane is the combination of the verb piantare (to plant) and the noun grana, which in addition to meaning ‘grain‘ is also a familiar way of saying ‘trouble‘ or ‘hassle‘.

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

Piantagrane is an invariable noun whose form does not change in the feminine or plural.

il / la piantagrane
the troublemaker

un / una piantagrane
a troublemaker

i / le piantagrane
the troublemakers

dei / delle piantagrane
(some) troublemakers

A closely related idiomatic expression is piantare una grana (lit. to plant a grain), which means to stir up trouble.

Dai, finiscila di fare il piantagrane! Non hai niente di meglio da fare?

Come on, stop being a troublemaker! Don’t you have anything better to do?

Angry interracial couple shouting in living room.
Non sei altro che un piantagrane! = You’re nothing but a troublemaker!

Some synonyms for piantagrane include:

  • pedante = pedantic
  • rompiscatole = pain in the neck (as well as the more vulgar rompiballe and rompicoglioni)
  • persona cavillosa = pedantic / small-minded person
  • seccatore = pest

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