Italian Word of the Day: Spigliato (self-confident)

A person who is uninhibited, confident and sure of themselves can be called spigliato in Italian. It is the past participle of the verb spigliare, meaning “to make (someone) more relaxed and confident”. Because it is an adjective, the form changes depending on the gender and plurality of the noun in question: spigliato = masculine, …

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Italian Word of the Day: Sgargiante (gaudy / showy)

cover image with the word “sgargiante” and flashy boots in the background

Today we’ll be focusing on an advanced Italian adjective that translates in many ways including gaudy, showy, flamboyant, glitzy and flashy: sgargiante. It is thought to derive from the present participle of the Neapolitan sgargià meaning ‘to look (at someone) with a loving gaze’ with the intention of attracting their attention. When modifying masculine and …

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Italian Word of the Day: Ululare (to howl / to wail)

The verb ululare (and its English cognate to ululate) descends from the Latin verb ululare, meaning to howl or to wail. The Latin root carried the same meaning as the modern Italian word, and almost certainly originated from the howling sound associated with it. Ululare is a regular -are verb, so it can be conjugated …

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Italian Word of the Day: Baraonda (confusion / chaos / disorder)

cover image with the word “baraonda” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Baraonda is an evocative Italian word used to describe the confusion caused by the comings and goings of numerous people. The word entered the Italian language from the Spanish barahunda, which likely had onomatopoeic origins. Baraonda is a feminine noun. The plural is baraonde. la baraonda una baraonda le baraonde delle baraonde C’era una baraonda …

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Italian Word of the Day: Spiritosaggine (wisecrack)

cover image with the word “spiritosaggine” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

The Italian word for a joke that is silly or tasteless, or that is supposed to come off as witty but falls flat due to its inappropriateness, is the feminine noun spiritosaggine. Often used in its plural form spiritosaggini, it derives from the adjective spiritoso which can translate as either witty or smart-alecky depending on …

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Italian Word of the Day: Presentimento (feeling / presentiment)

cover image with the word “presentimento” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Italian and English are full of cognates, but some are used more frequently in one language than in the other. This is certainly the case with the Italian word presentimento, which, unlike the English equivalent presentiment, occupies a valuable place in the core lexicon of most Italians. Presentimento, which can be defined as an intuitive …

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