Our Favorite Words
A guest post by Ishita Sood
Although I have read many beautiful Italian words, some have stayed with me more than the others. What I love most about these words is how lovely they are and how musical they sound when I speak them. Stupefacente! (Astounding!)
Here are a few of my favorites (so far) along with their meanings:
*Abbiocco: Isn’t this word so beautiful? It means drowsiness after eating a big meal or, as one reader put it, “food coma.”
*Allora: It is one of my favorite words but it is difficult to explain its meaning. It means “well,” “so” or “then.” I love the way Italians use it ever so often in every sentence.
*Arancione: This means the color orange. Love the way it feels when I speak it.
*Chiacchierare: This word for chit-chat is just like it sounds--chatty and gossipy.
*Magari: This is a dreamy word. It means "maybe" but also “I wish” or “If only…”. If someone ask: “Vai in Italia in estate? " (Are you going to Italy in the summer), you might say, “Magari!”
*Menefreghismo: Ha! This word is badass. It describes an “I-couldn’t-care-less" attitude.
*Prego: The all-purpose word that means “welcome,” “come in,” “after you” or “not at all.”
*Sbocciare: Again I love the way it sounds. The word means “to bloom.”
*Trasecolare: Very musical. It means “to be dumbfounded.”
*Vattene!: Go away!
The followers of Ishita’s blog added some of their favorites:
*Ammazzacaffè: Literally coffee-killer. “Fun to say -- and drink. It can be considered the official end to a meal--often grappa, but it can also be something like strega, a digestive."
*Asciugamano: Bath towel.
*Aspirapolvere: Vacuum cleaner (literally "inhales dust").
*Dondolare: To swing.
*Farfanteria: Sicilian dialect for "a tissue of lies." It makes a horrible thing sound pretty!
*Ninna nanna: Lullaby.
*Palloncino: Balloon (the kind kids play with).
*Pettegolezzo: Gossip, from the root word gola (throat).
*Pomodoro: Tomato, but literally “golden apple.” “This could help avoid all those tomahto/tomato arguments."
*Ricciolino: Nickname for a kid with curly hair. “My cousins used to call me this.”
*Tuffarsi: To dive … so onomatopoeic!
Ishita Sood, a passionate Italophile from India, is the creator of Italophilia,
Dianne Hales is the author of LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language and MONA LISA: A Life Discovered. In future posts, I will be writing about some of my favorite Italian words. I'd love to hear any that you'd like to share.