Word of the Day

If you grew up in an Italian household, you have certainly been on the receiving end of millions of zitto (zeet-toh) during your childhood. Literally, zitto means “silent,” but it is most often used with the verb stare to create …

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Every Italian of working age long for their ferie (fai-ree-ai). With ferie, we usually mean the  paid rest days every worker is entitled to. We’d say “leave,” “annual leave” or quite simply “time off” in English, but the Italian ferie …

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Moka  (moh-kah) is an easy Italian word to pronounce, perhaps because it isn’t Italian at all! “Moka” is the term inhabitants of the Belpaese use for the most important kitchen appliance they own: their beloved, stove-top coffee maker.  If you …

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Today’s word is easy in every sense!Easy because it is incredibly common, because you won’t find it hard to pronounce and because it means just that: easy! Facile (fah-tchee-lai) is an incredibly common word, one you need to have in …

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I think I must use the word parecchio (pah-rai-keeoh) at least a dozen times every day and, like me, every Italian does. Parecchio means “a lot,” “in large quantity,” “very” and can be used in all contexts you can think …

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Pasticcio (pah-stee-tchoh) comes from the vulgar Latin pasticium, in turn related to another late Latin word we know much better, pasta. It is attested in our beautiful language for the first time in 1525, a tad too late for our …

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Italians often use the word mannaggia (mahn-nadj-dja) instead of others they think more offensive. It usually expresses annoyance or spite and can sometimes come in association with other words to create colorful sayings, such as mannaggia la miseria!, which we …

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Today’s word is wonderful, because just saying it cheers you up. Buffo (boof-foh) means funny or silly, in a nice, good-hearted way. Something is “buffo” when it makes you smile because of its awkwardness, clumsiness or because it’s just curious, …

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Ovunque (oh-voon-kooaih) means anywhere (or everywhere), or wherever in English and appeared for the first time in the 13th century. It translates the ideas of “wherever you go,” “in every place,” and it is formed by the adverb ove, an …

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Our word of the day, pignolo (pih-ño-lo) comes from the word pigna, or pine cone, which in turn is a cousin of the Latin pinea, the feminine of pineus, pine. In Italian, we use it to denote someone who is …

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