Italian Word of the Day: Appiccicoso (clingy / sticky)

Soon after our son turned six months old, he went from being a very sociable baby who would flash his gummy smile at pretty much anyone in his immediate vicinity to being extremely shy and appiccicoso, which is the Italian word for clingy / clinging (when figuratively talking about a person) or sticky (when talking about an object such as honey or glue).


The word is formed of the verb appiccicare (to stick / to adhere) and the suffix -oso which turns verbs into adjectives.

Because it is an adjective, the ending changes according to the gender and/or plurality of the subject:

  • appiccicoso = masculine, singular
  • appiccicosa = feminine, singular
  • appiccicosi = masculine, plural
  • appiccicose = feminine, plural

Mio figlio è veramente appiccicoso in questi giorni. Vuole sempre stare in braccio!

My son is very clingy these days. He always wants to be held!

Cute smiling little boy clings to his mother legs, with pleasure spending time together outdoors, happy family life
Un bambino appiccicoso – A clingy boy

Il bambino ha le dita molto appiccicose.

The boy has very sticky fingers.

Mani appiccicose = Sticky hands

Some terms that are related to appiccicoso include:

  • appiccicato = stuck, glued on, clingy
  • appiccicaticcio = sticky, muggy (the pejorative form of appiccicato)

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