Thursday, September 6, 2007

15 of my favorite Italian words

1. violino ~ violin. This was one of the first words I heard my husband speak. When he said it, it sounded like music and was the start of my love affair with the Italian language.

2. mirtillo ~ blueberry.

3. dondolone ~ loafer, ne'er-do-well. This word comes from the word meaning to rock, to sway. The image is of swaying in the breeze without a care in the world.

4. sensuale ~ sensual. So much better than the English version.

5. affascinante ~ literally fascinating, charming. A beautiful word to describe a person or thing that irresistibly draws you in.

6. porcheria ~ filth, dirt, muck. This word comes from the word porco (pig), and is great for when you want to call something really gross, especially in a moral sense.

7. sussurrare ~ to whisper. Ah, so perfect a word for what it describes...

8. azzurro ~ light blue.

9. aurora ~ dawn. Not just the time of day, but also the color and sensation, also in a figurative sense. One of the most beautiful words.

10. cretino ~ idiot, nitwit. Quite literally cretin. I love this word to describe a fool.

11. luna ~ moon.

12. ninfea ~ waterlily.

13. vendemmia ~ grape harvest. But that's not all, also a season, a celebration.

14. farfalla ~ butterfly.

15. amore ~ love. The real thing.


BabyTalkers said...

I, too, love the Italian language. It sounds beautiful. My favorite from your list is sensuale. It slips off the lips so smoothly.

Greg said...

I read in Eat, Pray, Love that when Italian intellectuals concerned for the inability of people from differing parts of Italy to understand each other due to the number of dialects, they deliberately chose the Italian employed by Dante as the "standard." What a beautiful choice; what a beautiful language!

Fourier Analyst said...

I love using "creatino"! Also "stronzo", "verme" and the ever handy expression "VaFfanculo!". It makes me feel superior, especially when the party in question cannot understand what I am saying!

Great list!!

anno said...

What a beautiful language! Sometimes I think that without Italian, there would be no art, no music, no poetry. Certainly our dinner tables would be much diminished.

There is a stack of essays in front of me today -- plenty of opportunity to practice saying cretino!

Thanks for a wonderful list.

sognatrice said...

Love the list, although I must say I'm partial to Luna ;)

cathouse teri said...

Purrty words.

Jen said...

Fascinating list. Just wonderful. I really like sussarrare and sensuale. Just beautiful.

Irishcoda said...

what a neat idea! I've learned something!

Karen ~Georgia Angel said...

I have learned something too. Great list!

The Passionate Palate said...

Grazie per la lista e la lezione! I learned a few. Don't you love it when the word sounds like the meaning? What is the word for those kind of words? Yes, indeed, sensuale is more sensual than sensual. ;-)

Rebecca said...

dondolone - what a great sounding word - reminds me of indolent??

and farfalla - how perfect!

Giuseppe said...

The Passionate Palate:

the word you were looking for is Onomatopoeia.. from the italian onomatopea.

Anonymous said...

L'italiano e' la lingua la piu' bella nel mondo! abito a roma e anch'io penso questo!

Spero che uno di voi l'avete imparata!