Italian Word of the Day: Torcicollo (crick in the neck)

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

In Italy, you’ll often hear people use the single word torcicollo to describe a crick in one’s neck or a stiff neck caused by an injury. It is made up of two words: the verb torcere meaning to twist or to contort, and collo meaning neck. Torcicollo is a masculine noun. The plural is torcicolli. …

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Italian Word of the Day: Voglia (desire / craving / birthmark)

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

Voglia is a frequently used Italian noun that has various translations depending on the context, including desire, craving, longing or wish. Fewer people know that it also means birthmark, as we’ll discover further down. The word comes from the verb volere (to want). Voglia is a feminine noun. The plural is voglie. la vogliauna voglia …

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Italian Word of the Day: Carponi (on all fours)

The adverb carponi (also written as a carponi or the less common carpone) is how you would say on all fours or on one’s hands and knees in Italian. It is probably connected with the Latin carpere which means to swipe or to pilfer. Some common verbs you’ll see used with carponi include: camminare carponi …

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Italian Word of the Day: Snello (slender / slim)

Snello is an adjective in Italian that means slender or slim. It usually refers to a person’s body or certain parts of the body. Interestingly, according to Treccani, it derives, not from Latin, but from the Germanic “snell” meaning nimble or quick. (“Schnell” means “fast” in German.) Indeed, this is how the word was originally …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pelle (skin)

The Italian word for human and animal skin is pelle (feminine, plural: pelli). It comes from the Latin pellis of the same meaning. Learn with our video Most human skin types can be described using the following adjectives: pelle secca = dry skin pelle grassa = oily skin pelle chiara = light skin pelle scura …

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Italian Word of the Day: Occhiolino (wink)

The act of quickly closing and opening one’s eye while leaving the other eye open is known as an occhiolino (masculine, plural: occhiolini) in Italian or wink in English. It is usually performed in such a way that only the recipient notices it. Learn with our video Occhiolino is the diminutive form of occhio (eye), …

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