Moriremo di perbenismo.

English Translation

We’re dying from conformity.

I think that it should be “we will die from…”, but the interesting word is “perbenismo”.

It seems it means “righteousness” or “respectability” but with a sense of irony, so maybe more “so-called righteousness”. Also “self-righteousness”.

Any idea from where the word derives?


The word derives from “per bene”, plus the -ismo (-ism in Englis) suffix.

“Una persona per bene” is a (well, supposedly) honest person, that acts according to social norms.

So “perbenismo” is the act or concept of acting according to social rules, without disturbing the status quo.

If you accuse someone of “perbenismo”, you are implying that they hypocritically support adhering to social norms.


Thanks @mike-lima that’s great - I feel a bit foolish actually, I didn’t make that connection at all!


Don’t worry too much about it, this kind of connections come easier to native speakers.

Another note, about your translation:
I feel respectable and respectability can be used in a positive or negative manner; but “perbenista” and “perbenismo” are always used with a negative connotation.

A similar word, with a similarly negative connotation is “buonismo” (I have seen this translated as do-goodism, but I have never found it used myself).

Both words are politically loaded, so people being accused of perbenismo, are likely retorting with an accuse of buonismo and vice versa.


Perbacco, I’ve never seen that word before! Lots of irony there, methinks. In modern parlance perhaps it means “we’re so up ourselves!” ;-D

Later: Coincidentally I was given “È una persona perbene” this evening. Translation “He is a good person” - so I added “Respectable” which several dictionaries gave and means a lot more than just “good”.