Gendered slang: the Italian case


We call someone a ‘pussy’ for being weak, even though the vagina contains incredibly strong muscles capable of pushing out human beings that weigh over three kilograms. When someone does something brave, we say they have ‘balls’, even though the testicles don’t seem to do much except hang around, produce sperm and get squeezed out the side of briefs as a gross party trick.

(Benjamin Law, Frankie Magazine, Issue 40)

Amazingly, it’s the opposite in Italy:

che palle” (what balls) = “what a drag”

che figata” (from figa, literally meaning fig but common slang for vagina) = “how cool”