Next time you say a dude has no balls, be grateful you're in the US. Hurl that insult in Italy and you could find yourself slapped with a fine.

The Italian courts (which really must not have enough to do) recently heard a case between two cousins, Alberto and Vittorio, brought because the former accused the latter of being ball-less during a verbal altercation.

Vittorio’s lawyer argued that the expression implied his client was “worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes” -- and while the case may have been laughed out of an American court, the Italians apparently take these things pretty seriously.

"Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality,” Judge Maurizio Fumo said in his ruling. “It refers not only to the target’s lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence — virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender.”

Alberto will have to pay an unspecified fine, and worse yet, precedent has been set -- which means Italian men will now have to find another go-to insult. May we suggest "your mother doesn't love you and makes an inferior spaghetti sauce"?


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