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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Italian Word of the Day: Dente di leone (dandelion)

cover image with the word “dente di leone” and a dandelion in the background

One of the words for a dandelion in Italian is dente di leone. However, it is also known by a number of other names including insalata matta (literally ‘crazy salad’), soffione (literally ‘big blower’ due to the fluffy white head of seeds that can be easily blown off) and dente di cane (literally ‘dog’s tooth). …

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Italian Word of the Day: Raffica (gust / rapid series)

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

The word raffica in Italian is difficult to translate into English using just one blanket term. Raffica is a feminine noun. The plural is raffiche. la raffica una raffica le raffiche delle raffiche What’s important to know is that raffica is used to describe things that are relentless, fast and continuous. In weather terminology, for …

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Italian Word of the Day: Brina (frost)

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

As I was taking my son to nursery school early this morning, I noticed him looking at the sidewalk and grass, mesmerised by the shimmering layer of brina (frost / hoarfrost) that had powdered them white overnight. Brina is a feminine noun whose plural form is brine. (Note, however, that the plural form is very …

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Italian Word of the Day: Ortica (nettle)

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

One of the more traumatic memories from my time living in Italy involves a walk along the River Po in Torino with a little girl I used to babysit. About halfway along the path, she decided to climb up the river bank, and took an unfortunate tumble into an enormous patch of nettles. Between her …

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