Qualcosa di sinistro sta per accadere.

English Translation

Something wicked this way comes.

Hmm… By the pricking of my thumbs…

Something sinister is about to happen.

A bit bland isn’t it? Plus, “about to happen” isn’t really the same thing as “this way comes”, is it?

I found a few translations online, this one seems a bit better to me.

Mi prudono i pollici: arriva qualcosa d’iniquo.


I like your translation “something sinister is about to happen” much better than the official one. I think It conveys the “sta per accadere” perfectly. Why bland?

And, by the way, a nice example that in European languages (also Farsi, I was told) even hundreds of years after sword and shield fighting “right” is “right” and “left” is, well “sinister”.


Hello @MRgK

Sorry, I should have been clearer. It is a quotation from Shakespeare, specifically Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 1.

(Second witch)
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes”.


Ciao @David755502 Well I’ll be! We live and learn here every day;-) Pricking oft hapt it seems, around the bard’s time; we sing a merry madrigal at choir “I’d pluck a red rose for my love”…

I’d prick a finger on a thorn
I’d prick a finger bleeding
Red is my heart, wounded and forlorn
And your heart’s bleeding.

There you go;-)


:face_with_hand_over_mouth: Oops … no, you were clear enough, I should have had it ready.
So beware: Translate 17th century English to Italian and then back to contemporary English and the bard turns in his grave.