I apologize if the question is confusing- I am completely new to the Italian language and need this for a story I am writing.

I have two male characters who have just met, and one is attempting to flirt with the other on first greeting. In that circumstance, would the man most likely say something along the lines of, "Hey, amico," or "Hey, bello"? I am attempting to create a kind of "Hey, cutie," kind of vibe, for lack of better words.

Again, if my word usage is completely wrong, please correct me!

Thank you!

  • 3
    Of the two I'd say Hey, bello (lit. hello, beautiful). Hey, amico means Hey, friend and has no flirty connotation. I think there might be some better option, maybe Hey, carino (this is possibly a bit too flirty)
    – Denis Nardin
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:48
  • The LGBT community might have its own slang, BTW, nowadays "amico" is used ironically in Italy and for a reason: if one is an actual friend, you use his birth name; if he is not you use Sir, Mr., "Excuse me" and the likes. So you use "Hey amico" when what follows is intended to be unpleasant.
    – antonio
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 1:42
  • @antonio: In Italian is quite rare to use “Sir”, “Mr.”, “Excuse me” and so on, but we sometimes use signore, scusi and so on.
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 8:38
  • 3
    Ciao bello and ciao caro, are two common expressions that friends or also collegues use on a confidential basis. There is no romantic or sexual connotation. Context is everything as usual.
    – user519
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 9:18
  • 1
    To go on a tangent: in Italian there is no such word as “hey”. The analogous exclamation is ehi.
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


In Italian, you don't have a direct translation for these kinds of stuff that wouldn't sound awkward...

Let's try to sort things out:

1. Ciao bello
2. Ciao carino 
3. Ciao bellezza
4. Ciao amico
5. Ciao tesoro 

The first expression may be used to flirt

Ciao bello/a cosa fai stasera? 

The 2nd expression, carino would be translated as cutie and it's usually used if you have confidence with the other person

The 3rd one is (basically) always used with females (when you approach them and still want to create a "sexy" atmosphere)

Ciao amico

Means literally Hi friend

The 5th one is used when you have a higher confidence with the person you are talking to...

Very used by couples.

  • We're talking about a man being flirtatious with another man. Any of your examples except Ciao amico could be appropriate as a (trivial and a bit cheesy) pick-up line. I guess Ciao tesoro is acceptable too, in a kind of ironic way, even if they don't know each other. I wouldn't mind about bellezza being usually reserved to women, words of affection perceived as "gendered" among straight people are used in a very different way in a gay context as far as I know. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 12:00

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