25 Words We Love in the Italian Language

Apr 23, 2018

Italian heart

Le nostre parole preferite

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.

*Pioggia: Rain.

*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 musicalIt means “to be dumbfounded.”

*Vattene!: Go away!

The followers of Ishita’s blog added some of their favorites:

*AmmazzacaffèLiterally 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." 

*Arcobaleno: Rainbow.

*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!

*Incantesimo: Enchantment.

*Meraviglioso: Marvelous.

*Ninna nanna:  Lullaby.

*PalloncinoBalloon (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.



Subscribe here



La Passione
Mona Lisa
La Bella Lingua