Italian Word of the Day: Ciottolo (pebble)

A sasso (stone) that has been made smooth and round by the action of water is a ciottolo (pebble) in Italian. It is the diminutive form of ciotto, an archaic word for pebble. Ciottolo is a masculine noun whose plural form is ciottoli. The definite and indefinite articles it takes are as follows: Prese un …

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Italian Word of the Day: Aiuola (flowerbed)

One of the hardest words to pronounce in Italian for English speakers is the feminine noun aiuola, which means flowerbed. Why is it so difficult, you might ask? Well, it has a lot to do with the presence of four adjacent vowel sounds, a phenomenon that doesn’t really occur in English. In fact, the plural …

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Italian Word of the Day: Mare (sea)

Do you enjoy spending time by the seaside? Then you will love today’s word! The sea in Italian translates as mare, which should be easy to remember as it closely resembles the English word marine. It derives from the Latin mare of the same spelling. It is a masculine noun that takes the following definite …

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Italian Word of the Day: Edera (ivy)

Italian word for ivy, edera

Ivy, which is known as edera in Italian, is an evergreen climbing plant (pianta rampicante) that thrives on walls, rocks and trees. The name comes from the Latin hedera. Edera is a feminine noun starting with a vowel, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles: Edera velenosa is what Italians call poison ivy. …

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Italian Word of the Day: Rugiada (dew)

Italian word for dew, rugiada

An Italian word that sounds as lovely as the thing it indicates is rugiada, which means dew. It is thought to have entered the language from the Latin ros via the Gallo-Italic rosada. Rugiada is a feminine noun whose plural form is rugiade. (Note, however, that the plural form is used far less than the …

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Italian Word of the Day: Sasso (stone / rock)

cover image with the word “sasso” and a various stones in the background

The Italian term sasso is fairly comprehensive in that it can be used to denote anything rock-like, from the smallest pebbles and stones to rocks, boulders, and even larger masses. In fact, it can even refer to rock faces and mountains, especially in toponyms such as Gran Sasso d’Italia, a massif in the Apennine Mountains …

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