Italian Word of the Day: Spaventapasseri (scarecrow)

Wherever there are fields with growing crops and birds in the vicinity, you will typically come across a scarecrow, known as spaventapasseri in Italian. They’ve long been used to dissuade these cunning winged gluttons from destroying the harvest. spaventapasseri scarecrow Spaventapasseri is made up of two parts: the verb spaventare (to scare) and passeri, the …

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Italian Word of the Day: Cetriolo (cucumber)

Cetriolo is the standard Italian word for cucumber. Is is derived from the Vulgar Latin citri√≤lum, and in turn from citrium, which comes from citrus (meaning “citron”). cetriolo cucumber Being a masculine noun, it takes the following definite and indefinite articles: Ricordati di prendere un po’ di cetrioli quando vai al supermercato. Remember to buy …

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Italian Word of the Day: Minuto (minute)

Each hour (ora) of the day consists of sixty minutes, which in Italian are known as minuti (singular: minuto). It comes from the late Latin minutum, which means particle, and is the neuter noun form of the adjective minutus. minuto minute Because minuto is a masculine noun, it takes the following definite and indefinite articles: …

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Italian Word of the Day: Stento (hardship)

The masculine noun stento in Italian is used to describe a situation of severe suffering or privation, much like the word hardship in English. stento hardship It derives from the verb stentare which translates as to struggle, to find difficult or to scrape by. Because stento begins with the letters st-, it takes the following …

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Italian Word of the Day: Secco (dry)

Today we’re going to be looking at the Italian word secco, whose principal translation is dry in English. It comes from the Latin siccus of the same meaning. Because secco is an adjective, the ending changes in accordance with the gender and/or plurality of the subject: Broadly speaking, secco can refer to anything that lacks …

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Italian Word of the Day: Svago (diversion / amusement)

Svago is a very useful Italian noun that refers the act of stepping away from a job or an occupation for the sole purpose of relaxation. Although we don’t have a noun in English that corresponds perfectly to svago, a few close translations include diversion, relaxation, distraction, recreation and leisure. The verb from which it …

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