Pronunciation Guide: How to Pronounce “Pistacchio” in Italian

The pistacchio, written as pistachio in English, is a member of the cashew family. A common food since 6750 BC, they are native to Central Asia and the Middle East. In fact, Iran was responsible for over half the world’s production of pistachios as of 2017.

Origin of the word:

The word pistacchio comes from the Green pistakion (πιστάκιον) via the Middle Persian pistak.

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

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How to pronounce ‘pistacchio’ in Italian

As with many Italian food names, the pronunciation of pistacchio was Americanised over time, most likely because the Italian immigrants were fed up with constantly trying to correct the pronunciation.

The biggest difference between the two pronunciations is that English speakers pronounce the ch as an ‘sh’ sound whereas in Italian, ch is a hard ‘k’ sound.

English speakers also fail to pronounce the double cc, which is produced by holding the consonant for a brief second before releasing. It sounds something like a very short pause in the middle of the word.

In both America and the UK, pistachio is pronounced as four separate syllables: pis-ta-shi-oh. In Italian, it is just three syllables: pis-tak-kio.


Homemade Green Pistachio Ice Cream Ready to Eat

Adoro il gelato al pistacchio!

I love pistachio ice cream!

Pistacchio is a masculine noun. To form the plural, just drop the final o, and you get pistacchi.

Che buoni che sono questi pistacchi!

These pistachios are so good!

Roasted pistachios with sea salt.
Pistacchi – Pistachios

Pistacchio also refers to the tree on which pistachios grow.

You can use the word figuratively to indicate the soft green colour reminiscent of the seed.

Cosa ne pensi di questo cappello verde pistacchio?

What do you think of this pistachio-coloured hat?

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