Italian Word of the Day: Aragosta (lobster)

Aragosta (feminine, plural: aragoste) is what Italians call a lobster, everyone’s favourite large marine crustacean (crostaceo) with stalked eyes and pincers. Both the Italian and English words can be traced back to the Latin locusta, the word for locust. It was presumably called as such because of the similarity in appearance between the two creatures! …

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Italian Word of the Day: Topo (mouse)

What is furry, cute and classified as both a house pet and a pest? Why, the humble mouse of course! The word for mouse in Italian is topo (masculine, plural: topi), which was originally a dialectal variant of talpa (mole). There are various synonyms for topo when referring to the family of rodent in Italian, …

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Italian Word of the Day: Gallo (rooster)

The male counterpart to a gallina (chicken / hen) in Italian is a gallo (masculine, plural: galli). It comes from the Latin word gallus. Some of the most distinctive characteristics of the rooster are its red crest (cresta), dangling wattle (bargigli), puffed-up tail (coda) and most importantly, its crow (canto) which is represented by the …

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Italian Word of the Day: Bruco (caterpillar)

As children, many of us are fascinated with the process by which a bruco (masculine, plural: bruchi) – the Italian word for caterpillar – turns into a butterfly (farfalla). The story begins with a caterpillar hatching from an egg (uovo). The caterpillar then stuffs itself with leaves, growing fatter and longer until one day, it …

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Italian Word of the Day: Uccello (bird)

The word for bird in Italian is uccello (masculine, plural uccelli), and it comes from the Latin aucellus. By transforming it into its diminutive form uccellino, you get the word for baby bird, fledgling or nestling. Below are various kinds of birds with which you might be familiar: uccello del paradiso = bird of paradise …

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Italian Word of the Day: Cane (dog)

Today’s post is all about man’s best friend! The word for dog in Italian is cane (plural: cani), which is easy to remember as it sounds similar to the word canine. It comes from the Latin canis meaning dog. The feminine of cane is cagna (bitch). In addition to referring to a bad or nasty …

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