Italian Word of the Day: Cellulare (cell / mobile phone)

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

In Italian, the portable device we use to make phone calls, browse the Internet, take photos and send messages, is called a cellulare. It comes from the Latin word cellularis, which in turn derives from the word cellula meaning ‘little chamber’. Cellulare is a masculine noun. The plural is cellulari. un cellulareil cellulare dei cellularii …

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Italian Word of the Day: Bambola (doll)

The word for doll is bambola (feminine, plural: bambole) in Italian. Like the English equivalent, it is used to describe any small model of a human figure, typically a baby, girl or woman. Similar to the word bambino (child), bambola is a derivative of bambo, which is an obsolete term meaning child or foolish. Many …

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Italian Word of the Day: Valigia (suitcase)

Most people  – with perhaps the exception of my minimalistic father who only ever travels with a small bag – pack their belongings inside a valigia (feminine, plural: valige or valigie) when they go on holiday. The word derives from the Latin valisia, which possibly came from the Gaulish *valisia meaning leather bag. Some verbs you’ll …

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Italian Word of the Day: Soprammobile (knick-knack / ornament)

A blanket term for any decorative or artistic object kept on a shelf or piece of furniture, regardless of its value, is soprammobile (masculine, plural: soprammobili) in Italian. Some possible translations in English are knick-knack, shelf ornament or decorative piece. /so·pram·mò·bi·le/ It is a combination of two words: sopra meaning on top of or above …

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Italian Word of the Day: Spicciolo (loose change)

Spicciolo (masculine, plural spiccioli) is the word for loose / spare / small change in Italian. It derives from the verb spicciolare which means to pick off or to change (a sum of money) into (a different currency or denomination). Hai qualche spicciolo da darmi? Do you have any spare change you can give me? …

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Italian Word of the Day: Pupazzo (puppet / stuffed toy)

Pupazzo (masculine, plural: pupazzi) is the Italian word for any model or toy that represents the form of a person or animal. Puppet is just one possible translation but stuffed toys, dummies, figurines, and dolls may also be classified as pupazzi. The word is a combination of the term pupo (another word for puppet and, …

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