Can someone please explain the exact meaning of the Italian expression "fare il muso"? I am trying to understand this expression.

How are some ways of translating the Italian expression "fare il muso"? My guess is that it can take on the transitive meaning "to be cross at someone or something" or the intransitive meaning "to be upset" (although perhaps for no particular reason).

Personally, I have a bit of an issue with this expression because it points out something about someone's facial expression and the meaning of such expression may not be universal. For instance I might knit the eyebrows and tense my lips because I am being and feeling self determined about reaching my goal, perhaps my inner character is such that inner anger stimulates thought, but someone may reinterpret that as "fare il muso". I am perplexed. Thank you for your help.

It seems that this expression can mean several things, perhaps though all with a slightly negative connotation.

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    Translating into which language? Into English? If so you should ask it on ELU.SE, describing the meaning of the idiom you're looking for. We can help you for the meaning or use of Italian words, idioms, sentences, not of English ones.
    – DaG
    May 9, 2016 at 16:22
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    Are you asking for the meaning of this Italian expression? I agree with @DaG: in the way it's written now, the question is off-topic.
    – Charo
    May 9, 2016 at 16:45
  • Are you rather referring to the expression "fare il muso lungo"? The English use an expression that is a direct translation from the Italian one, you should have the same issues with that too then. Certain figures of speech are not to be taken quite so literally. Could you clean up your question and clearly state what you wish to know? May 10, 2016 at 12:58
  • I've updated my question to make it clearer. Hope that fixes it. May 10, 2016 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


The expression "fare il muso", not only does the facial expression, but in most of the time is used to indicate when you are sad, and in fact, you have a sad face. The expression "fare il muso" can also be called "fare il broncio", or even "essere imbronciato" While the expression "fare il muso" is also used with a reinforcement, often also it feels "fare il muso lungo". It could literally be translated as "do the snout," or "make the long snout." In English I think it is better to use "Be sad", or if you want to get closer the correct translation "make the sad face". However, "fare il muso", it is a saying that Italian can not be translated correctly to 100%., But you can approach the proper way. If you want a little used so that it is 100% correct, the best way to say it will be "to pull a long face."

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    Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    May 9, 2016 at 21:17
  • What do you mean? I'm from Italy. I'm new in Italian language, Italian is my primary language. May 9, 2016 at 21:20
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    Any problem with your answer! The problem is that the question, in the way it's written now, is off-topic.
    – Charo
    May 9, 2016 at 21:23
  • Interesting answer. So, apart from the facial expression, it has more of a connotation of sadness. Thanks, I didn't know that. In fact people tell me this when I am in fact merely trying to concentrate on my own thoughts or vexed, not certainly the same as sad. Anyone know why this would be? Is there some overlap of these emotions with this "fare il muso" expression? Thanks. May 10, 2016 at 20:26
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    @JackMaddington, like in English it can be simply imply *displease", whatever is the mix of emotions one's personality throws into such state of mind May 12, 2016 at 13:41

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