From the Oxford dictionary:

sour grapes

used to refer to an attitude in which someone adopts a negative attitude to something because they cannot have it themselves:

government officials dismissed many of the complaints as sour grapes

Is there an equivalent or similar expression in Italian?

This question has been already asked on Spanish Language & Usage and, according to the related answers, it seems that in that language the word is envidia, but I'm not sure that in Italian is the same. Rather, I think that one of the candidate words is spazzatura.

  • 5
    BTW, spazzatura would not really fit in here. Let's say, if we are talking about a Lamborghini or a Ferrari car, I wouldn't call them "trash." I'd just say that, you know... no, I don't want such a car, because they are very long and very hard to find a parking place for. In this case, you'd surely call my "reasons" sour grapes.
    – I.M.
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:47

3 Answers 3


Invidia (envy, a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck, ) might be the word you are looking for.

From Vocabolario Treccani

invìdia s. f. [dal lat. invidia, der. di invĭdus: v. invido]. –

  1. Sentimento spiacevole che si prova per un bene o una qualità altrui che si vorrebbero per sé, accompagnato spesso da avversione e rancore per colui che invece possiede tale bene o qualità;

Invidia mignt cover also the case where the possession/quality does not belong to anyone specific like in "The Fox and the Grapes" fable.

For your particular case, the complaints might be "mossi/dettati dall'invidia"

  • 6
    +1. Well, sour grapes, uva aspra, actually comes from that Aesop's fable, so the one-to-one answer should be simply the Italian proverb fare come la volpe con l'uva.
    – I.M.
    Nov 27, 2013 at 9:24

Un termine consueto soprattutto a Roma e nel Lazio, e senza sinonimi. Il "rosicone". Invidioso, con rabbia e senza pace.


I heard many times the expression "verde d'invidia", which would mean something like "green because of envy".

  • In English the phrase is "green with envy".
    – Groky
    Mar 9, 2015 at 17:21

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