The journey of cabbage in Italian is remarkable, from the old worker’s oath to the ubiquitous form of polite disapproval. After all, for an Italian grandmother, there is nothing worse than a grudge to leave food on the plate, even if it is cabbage, and it reflects on the language. So if you plan to spend any time in Sicily or Calabria, enjoy cavolo! You’ll probably hear the sound miiiiiiiii, which in these dialects is shortened to penis. Make no mistake : while cabbage talk is a polite and fun way to discuss these days, it is still a very effective and powerful swear word for making a point. But only one is the undisputed diva when it comes to what swear words are used in Italian: col – il cavolo. The reason is ancient: when meat, fish and some vegetables were luxuriously expensive for most families, cabbage was cheap and plentiful. There are hundreds of idioms in the Italian language that compare people or feelings to cabbage. This common expression goes back to 800 AD, when a new logic game was invented: a farmer must pass a wolf, a goat, and some cabbage. Who the hell eats cabbage as a snack? Nobody, that’s the problem. There are many vegetables in Italian that play a dramatic role in everyday conversation. In the past, cabbage was the only thing people dared to leave on plates and in the garbage. In Italy, almost everything revolves around food, and swearing in Italian is no exception. There are also many expressions coined for everyday use in which cabbage is central to the phrase. However, there are two regions where cabbage is not mentioned.