Buffo (feminine: buffa | plural: buffi | feminine plural: buffe) is a wonderfully useful adjective that means funny, amusing or odd in English.
It is almost always used to describe someone or something that makes you smile or laugh, or that you find ironic or peculiar.
Quel pagliaccio è molto buffo. Mi fa morire dal ridere!
That clown is very funny. He makes me laugh like crazy!
Giulia sta facendo una faccia buffa.
Giulia is making a funny face.
La cosa buffa è che non lo capiremo mai.
The funny thing is that we will never understand it.
A word that is closely related to buffo is buffone which means a joker. It can be used in a pejorative way against someone who always acts silly without being funny or amusing. Interestingly the word baffoon in English derives the French bouffon which in turn was taken from the Italian buffone. It is also a synonym for giulliare di corte (court jester).
Buffonata is the word for farce or nonsense whereas buffoneria means clowning or mockery.
Basta con questa buffonata, è finita!
Enough with with nonsense, it’s over!
The adverb buffamente can be used when you want to say that someone does something in a funny way.
Il bambino ha iniziato a muoversi buffamente cercando di imitare Charlie Chaplin.
The child started moving in a funny way, trying to imitate Charlie Chaplin.
Below are some other common ways to say funny in Italian:
- divertente = funny, a lot of fun, amusing
- far ridere = funny, makes one laugh
- far morire dal ridere = makes one die of laughter, hilarious
- comico = funny, comical
- spiritoso = funny, witty, smart-alecky
- spassoso = funny, amusing, entertaining