Italian Word of the Day: Multa (fine / traffic ticket)

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

The last time I received a multa was when I was driving home, going perhaps five kilometres over the speed limit. The police car was hidden from view by a bend in the road, so he could easily catch anyone in too much of a hurry to reach their final destination. That €60 punishment was …

Read more

Italian Word of the Day: Calabrone (hornet)

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

I’ve been stung by many api (bees) and vespe (wasps) in my lifetime, but I thank my lucky stars that I’ve never been on the receiving end of a calabrone sting! The word calabrone comes from the Latin crabronem of the same meaning. Calabrone is a masculine noun. The plural is calabroni. un calabroneil calabrone …

Read more

Italian Word of the Day: Tormentone (catchphrase / hit song)

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

A tormentone is an expression, catchphrase, buzzword, meme, or piece of music that is repeated ad nauseam via the mass media or word of mouth, gaining rapid popularity and widespread diffusion as a result. Tormentone is a masculine noun, and the plural form is tormentoni. il tormentone un tormentone i tormentoni dei tormentoni It derives from …

Read more

Italian Word of the Day: Zerbino (doormat)

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

Today’s word is zerbino which, as exotic as it sounds, actually refers to the humblest of household objects: the doormat. It comes from the Arabic zirbiy which translates as either rug or cushion. Zerbino is a masculine noun whose plural form is zerbini. Any masculine noun that starts with the letter z in Italian must …

Read more

Italian Word of the Day: Limone (lemon)

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

The Italian word for lemon is limone, which comes from the Arabic līmūn, the collective term for fruits of this kind. Limone is a masculine noun, and its plural form is limoni. il limonethe lemon un limonea lemon i limonithe lemons dei limoni(some) lemons Interestingly, limone is also the name given to the lemon tree, …

Read more

Italian Word of the Day: Pendolare (commuter)

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

Pendolare is an interesting Italian word in that it can be classified as a noun, verb or adjective. Let’s begin by looking at its usage as a verb, as doing so will help us understand the meaning behind the noun and adjective. Pendolare is a regular -are verb that means to oscillate, to swing, or …

Read more