This week’s word, orgoglio (ohr-goh-llio), is a very special one.
To begin with, it doesn’t come from Latin, but from the old language of the Franks (yes, Charlemagne’s people), and reached us through the old Provençal, orgolh, which looks a lot like our orgoglio.
Orgoglio can be a bit tricky to pronounce for non Italians, because of that “-gl” sound, bitter enemy of all inexperienced Italian learners.
The word orgoglio is particularly meaningful this time of the year. In June, pride means Italian pride in the Belpaese, because we celebrate the birth of our Republic.
June 2nd is the Festa della Repubblica, which marks the anniversary of the national referendum where our grandparents and great-grandparents chose the Republic as the country’s new form of government. That was a special day for Italian women, too, as it was the first time they could exercise their right to vote at national level — they were also asked, in that occasion, not to wear any lipstick because voting cards had to be sealed like an envelop and lipstick could stain them, revealing the voter was a woman...and you know the way it is, vote must remain fully anomimous.
How proud Italians must have been on that day, quanto orgogliosi: after more than 20 years of dictatorship and 5 of war, they were finally free. And that freedom, they gained fighting with nails and teeth.
Orgoglio is the father of a just as popular adjective, orgoglioso, which means “proud.”
Saint Augustine famously said: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
E’ un artista di talento, l’orgoglio della sua famiglia.
He’s a talented artist, his own family’s pride.
Attento all’orgoglio: averne troppo può essere pericoloso!
Beware of pride: too much of it can be bad for you.
Sii sempre orgoglioso delle tue origini.
Be always proud of your roots.