Cambia il tuo taglio di capelli, oppure la tua casa.

Is this in any way meaningful as an understood idiom?

It seems quite odd. I mean, I know I have COVID hair, but I don’t think my husband is quite ready to kick me out of the house over it…

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Just one of Italy’s many colourful idioms. Change your ways or else, perhaps.


Indeed, in fact similar comments have been left for the English version of the sentence on Tatoeba back in 2014 and again in 2015:

This sounds a bit strange in English.

Perhaps this is some kind of Italian proverb.


This sounds a bit strange in English.

I wonder in what situation this sentence would be used.

I wonder too indeed… a quick Google search didn’t turn up any real-life usages of it.

Or perhaps it was just added as a joke?

When I saw this sentence I identified immediately with this situation. That what a mom would say to her teenaged child after seeing something outrageous (in her opinion) on that teenage head. For the purpose of learning I view it as a colorful exercise that is legitimate. I remember seeing “llama malata” in a different course and thought it was ridiculous to waste my time on of such phrases. The love of my life replied: it is a language learning, you are picking up new words, even this silly phrase has its merit. (But I do block curse words when I encounter them in CM and blame my upbringing for that )


Yes, I have an idea that my mum said that to me…

English Translation

Change your haircut, or your house.

Yes, I have heard that sort of parental threat…the emotion behind it is not communicated so it just comes off sort of bland and nonsensical.

Not to Italians, if I may say so;-)


It was immediately understandable for me, and I think it’s quite colorful and strong.

We have a similar expression in German
“Solange Du die Füße unter meinen Tisch setzt , …”
“As long as put your feet under my dining table, …”

I might have heard that concerning my haircut a long time ago, after seeing “Hair” in the cinema while holding the hand of a weeping girl, some time in the age of aquarius … :sunflower:


In our family it was “You treat this house like a hotel, so you’d better pay for your room!”

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It feels odd in Italian too.
If it were a parent addressing a teenager, it would be more like:

'Vatti a tagliare i capelli, o vai via di casa!"

As a minimum I would drop the possessives:

“Cambia taglio di capelli (o acconciatura), oppure casa!”