Italians like it under the armpit

written by Tiana Kai

According to my most recent Facebook status, Americans place a thermometer under their tongue and Italians place it under their armpit. How did this topic come up you ask. Well, yesterday I felt a bit dizzy and hot, so found my hubby’s old thermometer in the medicine basket and did what any good ole American would have done, popped it in my mouth.

When I was trying ferociously to keep it under my tongue (I don’t remember it being so complicated and cumbersome) Nicco walked in and caught me red handed. He started laughing and asked ‘What the hell are you doing?’—I couldn’t really talk, so I just waved my hands in the air. He reminded me that the thermometer is probably more than ten years old, so it should definitely not be in my mouth.


After it beeped I pulled it out and saw I was up a degree higher than normal, celsius speaking. Now I could talk. I explained to Nicco that I washed it, so there’s no big deal. He said ‘Ya, but no one puts it in their mouth anyways. You’re supposed to put it in your armpit.‘ I started to laugh, I mean come on—everyone knows that under the tongue is more accurate than the armpit.

Well, every Italian who replied to my Facebook status wrote ‘armpit!‘. Don’t forget that exclamation point. They seemed to take this really seriously.

Every American cracked a joke (refering to a rectal thermometer, mainly because it was one of the three options I included in my Facebook status update) and then simply wrote ‘oral’. No exclamation needed, since it was just that obvious.

Using a thermometer is a basic, simple thing that we all have used growing up. Funny how each culture has their way and really stick to it.

How did you grow up? If armpit, is it ‘in’ or ‘under’ the armpit?

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Kaley [Y Mucho Más] October 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Yeah, this happened to me with my mother-in-law. But the most accurate method is the kind that goes in the ear anyway :p

Tiana Kai October 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I will take the ear any day! It was so difficult to keep it under my tongue for those few minutes and I would never trust it under the armpit.

Ma Cherie October 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

If you ask the French, they will they “anal”. But again, they are French…

Tiana Kai October 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Yes, I had a friend growing up who’s Mother always did it that way… eh, I prefer under the tongue still.

Emily McGee October 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

It’s hard for me to believe that putting it under your arm pit would be more accurate than putting it under your tongue. Then again, I wasn’t expecting the ear to be the best place to put a thermometer, so what do I know? As long as it doesn’t go in the butt, I’m ok.

Tiana Kai October 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Haha, exactly—no butt, no armpit, so the rest are up for grabs!


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