40 Important Italian Words to Use at Thanksgiving

When I first moved to Turin many years ago, I was surprised to discover that not only is Thanksgiving not celebrated in Italy, but also that many Italians have never even heard of the national American holiday. (Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been so shocked since the celebration is based on the 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists and Native Americans!)

Despite this, we still think it is worth learning some Italian Thanksgiving vocabulary, especially if you are part of an Italian-American family that still uses the Italian language at home, or wish to describe the holiday to your Italian friends in Italy.

In this article, you’ll find forty Italian Thanksgiving words we feel are useful to learn if you celebrate this important American holiday. Each word is accompanied by an audio file to help you with the pronunciation. Buona Festa del Ringraziamento! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

italian thanksgiving words

L’americano / L’americana

Translation: American


Rear view of young people sitting on a pier with American flag and celebrating the holiday on the nature

L’amore

Translation: love

Mother, I love you. Happy daughter embracing her mom, enjoying time together

L’autunno

Translation: autumn / fall

Young female woman babysitter and toddler baby girl read book in autumn park. Happy family mom and toddler outdoors in fall park.

Gli avanzi

Translation: leftovers


Chihuahua looking up at leftovers on table

Il banchetto

Translation: feast


Feast with turkey on Thanksgiving, vegetables and fruit

Benedetto / benedetta

Translation: blessed


A man praying hand for blessings

La candela

Translation: candle


A handmade candle made of natural wax with texture of honeycomb bees. beeswax for craft candles. Organic candle.

Il centrotavola

Translation: centrepiece


Floral centrepiece on the table

La colonia

Translation: colony


Augusta, Maine, USA at historic Fort Western in the morning.

Il colonizzatore

Translation: coloniser / settler


Sailboat replica of the Santa Maria boat, boat that discovered america.

Festeggiare

Translation: to celebrate


Crazy family mixed ages celebrate and enjoy the football match together with coloured clothes of the team - group of people enjoy the sport watch activity at home and have fun for championship tournament

La foglia

Translation: leaf


Leather shoes walking on fall leaves Outdoor with Autumn season nature on background Lifestyle Fashion trendy style

Il Giorno del Ringraziamento

Translation: Thanksgiving Day


Happy Thanksgiving Day! Autumn feast. Family sitting at the table and celebrating holiday. Grandparents, mother, father and children. Traditional dinner.

Il giovedì

Translation: Thursday


page is marked with a date calendar

La gratitudine

Translation: thankfulness


Happy family sitting at the table and celebrating holiday.

Grato / grata

Translation: grateful


Happy mature man bringing turkey to dining table for Thanksgiving lunch.

Grazie

Translation: thank you



Il mais

Translation: corn


Farmer holding corn cob and talking on cell phone in a field

Mangiare troppo

Translation: to overeat


Beautiful adult caucasian woman eating italian food pizze - man couple point of view with beer and fresh drink on the table - people enjoying restaurant together sitting outdoor

La mela

Translation: apple


Fresh apples in a paper bag on a wooden background

Il nativo americano

Translation: Native American


Traditional houses of native Americans installation in Gesgapegiag city, Quebec, Canada.

Novembre

Translation: November


Note: Novembre is a masculine noun, so it takes the article il in phrases such as “il novembre più caldo della storia” (the hottest November in history). In contrast to English, novembre and the other months of the year are always written in lower case unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

attractive young woman walking in autumn park with coffee wearing checkered coat, sunglasses, happy mood, fashion style trend, long brown hair

Il pellegrino

Translation: Pilgrim



Pieno / piena

Translation: full


Cute little girl refuses to eat, pushes the plate

Il ponte

Translation: long weekend

Note: Ponte literally means “bridge“; Italians often say “fare il ponte” = to take a long weekend


old man looking at calendar and remembering dates

La preghiera

Translation: prayer


Hands of an unrecognizable woman in white cardigan praying

Il purè di patate

Translation: mashed potatoes


mashed potatoes in a bowl

Il quarto giovedì di novembre

Translation: the fourth Thursday in November


Top view of November calendar surrounded by red ripe apples, pumpkins, walnuts, acorns and autumn leaves

Il raccolto

Translation: harvest


A top view of farmers hands holding their harvest outdoors at community farm.

Il raduno di famiglia

Translation: family reunion


Happy Latin family having fun lunching together at home

Ringraziare

Translation: to thank / to give thanks


Happy parents and their kids celebrating Thanksgiving and toasting at dining table.

La salsa ai mirtilli rossi

Translation: cranberry sauce


Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam with orange and rosemary. Top view on light stone table.

La salsa di carne

Translation: gravy


Dark Homemade Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

Lo spaventapasseri

Translation: scarecrow


scarecrow in a field

Il tacchino

Translation: turkey


turkey being cut on a plate

La torta di mele

Translation: apple pie


Apple pie on blue background

La torta di zucca

Translation: pumpkin pie


Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving.

La tradizione

Translation: tradition



Le verdure grigliate

Translation: roasted vegetables


Roasting vegetables on the barbecue

La zucca

Translation: pumpkin / gourd / squash


Note: Italians don’t differentiate between pumpkins, gourds and squashes. All three are called zucca.

Set of colorful pumpkins on wood flat lay empty space.

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