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Italian Idioms starting with B

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Bastian contrario (= diminutive of Sebastian + opposing)
On the origin of way of saying there are several theories. 1. In 1747 at the Assietta Battle order was given to the army to withdraw on the second line. Only the Count of San Sebastian disobeyed. The gesture of the Count and his few faithful grenadiers determined the favorable outcome of the entire battle against the French-Spanish army. 2. In his Modern Dictionary (1905) Alfredo Panzini the legend of Bastiano Contrari a "malefactor hanged, who only by virtue of his name gave rise to the motto."

Bel Paese (Italia) (= the Beautiful Country)
This is a classic poetic expression to indicate Italy, which gained this nickname thanks to its mild climate, natural landscapes, culture and history. Dante was probably the first to use the expression in his works: "del bel paese là dove 'l sì suona," (=of the beautiful country where people say sì for yes) ( Dante, Inferno, Canto XXXIII, line 80.)

Bicchiere della staffa (= one last drink before going)
The expression was born in the 19th century, when gentlemen who went to inns drank a last glass when they already had one foot in the stirrup, ready to mount on horseback.

Boia chi molla (= who gives up is an executioner)
The expression was a famous fascist motto and later continued to be used in Italy.