I recently began using a standing desk and under-the-desk treadmill at work, and although the set-up has been revolutionary for my health and mood, I initially found it incredibly difficult to drink water while walking, as it would splash all over the desk. (Not a pretty sight, believe me!) Fortunately, I managed to resolve the issue by purchasing a water bottle with a lid and a cannuccia (straw), and there haven’t been any more watery accidents since then!
The word is the diminutive of canna, which means reed or cane, no doubt because of the similarity in their appearance.
Cannuccia is a feminine noun that takes the following definite and indefinite articles:
- la cannuccia = the straw
- le cannucce = the straws
- una cannuccia = a straw
- delle cannucce = (some) straws
Note that the plural isn’t spelled cannuccie* with an i but cannucce. This is because the -cia ending is preceded by a consonant, not a vowel. If it were it preceded by a vowel, the ending would become -cie, as in the word for the acacia plant: acacia – acacie.
Preferisco bere con la cannuccia.
I prefer drinking with a straw.
In recent years, cannucce di plastica (plastic straws) have received a bad reputation because they are one of the most widely used single-use plastics on the planet. As a result, companies have come up with alternatives such as cannucce riutilizzabili (reusable straws), cannucce in acciaio (steel straws) and cannucce di carta (paper straws).
By extension, cannuccia can denote anything with a similar long tubular form, such as the barrel of a pen that houses the ink reservoir.
Heather Broster is a graduate with honours in linguistics from the University of Western Ontario. She is an aspiring polyglot, proficient in English and Italian, as well as Japanese, Welsh, and French to varying degrees of fluency. Originally from Toronto, Heather has resided in various countries, notably Italy for a period of six years. Her primary focus lies in the fields of language acquisition, education, and bilingual instruction.