Italian Word of the Day: Cannuccia (drinking straw)

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!

/can·nùc·cia/ – [kanˈnuttʃa]
italian word cannuccia

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.

Striped and dotted paper drinking straws in a glass on grey background top view.

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.

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