When you emigrate and start to live in a different country, one of the interesting things you notice is the new country’s different customs and festivals. Coming from England, I was impressed at the celebrations in Italy for Carnival and I loved watching the children this week at Le Terrazze dressed up (mascherati) in their fancy dress costumes and throwing what we call confetti (coriandoli) over each other.
When my children were young they used to love dressing up at Carnival. My son usually dressed up as a cowboy or a Power Ranger and my daughter dressed up as a Dalmatian puppy dog or a princess!
On the theme of dressing up, the idiom this week refers to a wolf (lupo) who dressed up in a sheep skin (pelle di pecora) to trick (ingannare) the shepherd (pastore) so that he could stay in the field at night and feast on the sheep. The idiom a wolf in sheep’s clothing has probably been used since the 5th or 6th century when Aesop wrote his fable of the same name. We use it now as a warning that you cannot always trust (fidarsi) a person, or animal, just because they seem kind and friendly.
For example, I have a very pretty cat called Sophie. Sophieisa wolf in sheep’s clothing – at first she seems affectionate and playful – but after a few minutes she changes and becomes a tiger!
Many people say that politicians are wolves in sheep’s clothing because they often say good things to get elected, then do something completely different when they are in power! (NB: the plural of wolf is wolves and the plural of sheep is sheep!!)
The character played by Leonardo di Caprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street” is probably a good example of this idiom – have you seen this film?
Have a great week!