Italian Word of the Day: Mascherina (face mask)

If I had to pick one Italian word to define the year 2020, I would be sorely tempted to go with mascherina (feminine, plural: mascherine) which is the Italian word for a mask that filters air. The diminutive of maschera (the word for any generic mask), it literally translates as little mask. È obbligatorio indossare …

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Italian Word of the Day: Infradito (flip-flops)

Infradito is a type of summer shoe in leather, rubber, straw or plastic, in which the sole is secured to the foot by a strip (called a toe post) that passes between the big toe and the second toe. In English, we’d call these shoes flip-flops, thong sandals or toe-post sandals depending on the style. …

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Italian Word of the Day: Dolcevita (turtleneck)

Dolce vita or la dolce vita is Italian for the sweet life but when combined into a single word, dolcevita, we get the term for the kind of sweater Americans call a turtleneck and the British call a polo neck. What’s interesting is that dolcevita apparently gets its name from the 1960s film by Fellini, …

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Italian Word of the Day: Cappello (hat)

The word for hat or cap in Italian is cappello (masculine, plural: cappelli). It derives from the Latin cappellus which in turn comes from the word cappa meaning hood. When pronouncing this word, it is very important to clearly enunciate the double pp so as to avoid confusion with the similar sounding capello, the Italian …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pantaloni (trousers / pants)

The word for trousers or pants in Italian is pantaloni. If you find yourself struggling to remember this term, simply think of the English word pantaloons! Both the Italian pantaloni and English pantaloons derive from the French pantalon, which in turn owes its name to the famous Commedia dell’Arte character, Pantalone, whose costume consists of …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pantofole (slippers)

No sooner do I get home from work than do I slip out of my work shoes and straight into my comfy pantofole (feminine, singular: pantofola), the word for slippers in Italian. This term applies to any comfortable indoor shoe, usually made of leather, cloth, felt, or wool, that completely covers the foot. It may …

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