Does anyone know if the right meaning of Ma che sei grullo? is something similar to but are you crazy?!

An Italian friend used this expression and I understood this by context, also checked on the net, but couldn't confirm it.

1 Answer 1


From the Treccani vocabulary:

grullo agg. [etimo incerto], tosc. – 1. Sciocco, semplicione; si dice soprattutto di persona che ha scarsa vivacità d’intelletto e di chi per eccessiva ingenuità si lascia facilmente ingannare o agisce a proprio svantaggio: quanto sei g.!; sei davvero g. se non capisci; sarei grulla se ti dessi retta; spesso sostantivato: è un povero g.; soltanto i g. possono credere alle sue parole. Con senso attenuato: non fare il g.!; sei stato g. a non accettare.

(my translation:)

grullo adj. [uncertain etymology], Tuscan – 1. Stupid, simple; usually said of person with slow intellect and who, due to excessive naivety is easily cheated or acts against their own interests: quanto sei g.! (how stupid you are); sei davvero g. se non capisci (you're really stupid if you you do not understand); sarei grulla se ti dessi retta (I'd be stupid if I paid attention to you)*; often as a noun: è un povero g. (he's a poor idiot); soltanto i g. possono credere alle sue parole (only the stupid could believe his words). In a weakened sense: non fare il g.! (don't be an idiot); sei stato g. a non accettare (you had been stupid not to accept).

So Ma che, sei grullo? could be roughly translated as are you an idiot or what?

  • 4
    +1 - I'd just like to stress – even if it is already in the quoted definition – that it is a very recognisably Tuscan term, so it'd be used almost only by Tuscans or by people who like the ring of it.
    – DaG
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 7:37
  • @DaG I just added the tag "regional" to the question to stress it as well.
    – Edu
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 9:48
  • I would have translated it with "dumb", too Commented May 26, 2017 at 19:36
  • Additionally it can be used as a confirmation (the implication being that it is foolish to even ask the question): "Oggi è sabato: hai prenotato in pizzeria?" "Ma che sei grullo? Ho prenotato sì!". The familiarity of the expression is more or less on par with is the Pope Catholic? or something about the habits of wood-dwelling ursines. Perversely, the same form in the first person is used to negate: "Ma che sono grullo?" ((do you think) I am crazy (, to do that)?)
    – LSerni
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 22:16

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