Qualunque (kwah-loon-kwai) is today’s word. In English, you can translate it with many a term, including, “any,” “whatever” or “whichever,” as in sentences like qualunque cosa tu faccia, ti appoggerò (“whatever you do, I’ll support you”), or andare all’università non è una passeggiata, qualunque facoltà tu scelga (“whichever subject you choose, going to university is not simple”).
In its archaic form qualunqua, it was first attested in the mid-12th century and derived from the Latin qualiscumque, compound of qualis (“which” or “what”) and cumque (“for everything”).
Qualunque belongs to all registers and can be also found in some interesting, very familiar expressions, such as la qualunque (“whichever thing” or “everything”), which should be, more correctly, qualunque cosa. The expression was born and made popular by comedian Antonio Albanese and by his character Cetto La Qualunque and it is today so common that even the Accademia della Crusca underlined its use, at least in the spoken language, should no longer surprise. Be aware, though: it’s considered pretty low Italian! However, you may still hear someone say sono andato a cena fuori ieri sera e ho mangiato la qualunque (“I went out for dinner last night and I ate anything and everything”).
Last but not least, we shouldn’t forget that qualunque is also often used as a synonym for “ordinary,” just like in the sentence è un uomo qualunque, non ha nulla di speciale (“he is an ordinary man, there is nothing special about him”).
- Qualunque cosa dica, non gli credere!
- Whatever he says, don’t believe him!
- Per qualunque necessità, chiamami
- Call me, if you need anything
- Qualunque tipo di pasta preparerai, lo mangerò
- I’ll eat whichever pasta you make