Italian Word of the Day: Solletico (tickle)

The Italian word for tickle is solletico (masculine, plural: solletichi).

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

It normally appears in the expressions fare il solletico (to tickle, or literally, “to do the tickle”) and soffrire il solletico (to be ticklish, or literally, “to suffer from the tickle”). A synonym for fare il solletico is the verb solleticare.

If you are going to tickle someone, the best places to target include:

  • sotto le ascelle = under the armpits
  • sul collo = on the neck
  • sotto i piedi = on the feet
  • sulla pancia = on the tummy
  • sui fianchi = on the sides

Smettila di farmi il solletico!

Stop tickling me!

Playful parents tickling their daughter and laughing altogether

The idiomatic expression non fare nemmeno il solletico (lit. to not even tickle) is one way of saying that something has very little or no effect whatsoever on you.

Ma hai visto quanto è grosso? Un pugno dei tuoi non gli farebbe nemmeno il solletico!

Did you see how big he is? If you punched him, it would have no effect on him!

Figuratively speaking, solletico can refer to an incitement, thrill or whim. For example, il solletico della curiosità literally means the thrill of curiosity. Non sentire il solletico di qualcosa means to not feel the desire for something.

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