Italian Word of the Day: Fischio (whistle)

cover image with the word “fischio” and a blonde lifeguard in the pool whistling in the background

The word fischio in Italian refers to any kind of high-pitched sound emitted by blowing through the teeth and lips, in addition to a similar range of sounds emitted by birds, animals or objects. Generally we’d translate this word as whistle, but other possible translations include hiss, call, cry, or whizz. Fischio is a masculine …

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O Sole Mio – Lyrics & English Translation

O Sole Mio is one of the most well-known songs to emerge from Italy, along with the likes of Nel blu dipinto di blu and Caruso. Written in 1898 by Giovanni Capurro and Eduardo di Capua, it has been recorded by dozens of artists and translated into various languages, most famously Elvis Presley’s It’s Now …

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Italian Word of the Day: Grinta (grit / determination / scowl)

cover image with the word “grinta” and a boxer in the background

A person with a lot of courage and resolve can be described using the noun grinta in Italian. The closest equivalents are grit or determination in English, although other translations such as fighting spirit and drive may also work depending on the context. Unlike the vast majority of words in Italian, grinta derives, not from …

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10 Popular Italian Nursery Rhymes (Lyrics & English Translations)

In the months leading up to my son’s birth, I made the decision to raise him in Italian, despite being an English mother-tongue who learned Italian as an adult. The desire stemmed mostly from the fact that my husband is part-Italian, but I also wanted to make sure that he had an opportunity I never …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pigiama (pyjamas)

cover image with the word “pigiama” and a a woman wearing a yellow pyjamas in the background

The Italian word for the loose-fitting garments we wear to bed is pigiama. It entered the language via English, but can be traced back to the Urdu and Persian words pāy (leg) + jāma (clothing). In English, we use the plural pyjamas to talk about a single pair of pyjamas, whereas Italian has a singular …

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Italian Word of the Day: Coccinella (ladybug / ladybird)

cover image with the word “coccinella” and a ladybug in the background

Coccinella is the word for ladybug (US) or ladybird (UK) in Italian. It derives from the Latin coccinus, which in turn comes from the Greek kókkinos, meaning ‘scarlet red colour’. It is a feminine noun whose plural form is coccinelle. The definite and indefinite articles it takes are as follows: la coccinellathe ladybuguna coccinellaa ladybug …

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