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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Italian Word of the Day: Tatuaggio (tattoo)

The word for a design made by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin is tatuaggio (masculine, plural: tatuaggi) in Italian. It derives from the French tatouage, which in turn comes from the English tattoo. Learn with our video There are two ways of saying ‘to get a tattoo‘ in Italian: farsi un tatuaggio = …

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Italian Word of the Day: Cervello (brain)

The word for brain in Italian in cervello (masculine). It derives from the Latin cerebellum which is the diminutive form of cerebrum (brain). Cervelli is the simple plural of cervello, whereas the feminine plural cervella indicates the matter of which the brain is made, mostly notably in the expression far saltare le cervella (to blow …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pernacchia (raspberry / Bronx cheer)

A raspberry or Bronx cheer – known as a pernacchia (feminine, plural: pernacchie) in Italian – is a derisive and vulgar sound, performed by blowing through pursed lips with the tongue to obtain a noise similar to that of flatulence. /per·nàc·chia/ It derives from vernacchio which in turn can be traced back to the Latin …

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