Italian Word of the Day: Arzigogolato (convoluted / tortuous / elaborate)

Have you ever had to endure a lengthy and convoluted explanation or discussion that left you feeling more confused than when you started? If so, you could aptly describe it with an adjective that’s just as much of a mouthful as the discourse it depicts: arzigogolato.

/ar·ẓi·go·go·là·to/ – [ardzigogoˈlato]
Italian word 'arzigogolato'

Arzigogolato is an adjective that derives from the verb arzigogolare, meaning “to elaborate / daydream / go off tangent,” which in turn comes from the noun arzigogolo (“beating around the bush / a roundabout expression“).

The term arzigogolo likely evolved from the earlier arzagogo, which meant ‘foreign or strange‘ in the late 14th century. It is probably connected to “Gog,” a mythical land mentioned in the Bible along with Magog.

Megaphone, message and people in studio to listen to a broadcast announcement on a gray background
Non vogliamo sentire discorsi arzigogolati! = We don’t want to hear elaborate speeches!

Since it is an adjective, its ending changes depending on the gender and number of the subject:

  • il discorso arzigogolato = the convoluted speech
  • la poesia arzigogolata = the convoluted poem
  • i discorsi arzigogolati = the convoluted speeches
  • le poesie arzigogolate = the convoluted poems

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