Italian Word of the Day: Biglietto di auguri (greeting card)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Christmas Word Advent Calendar series. Each day throughout December, we’ll post a word that is related to the holiday season. Enjoy!

In Italian, the word for card – as in the kind of cards you send to celebrate special occasions – is biglietto d’auguri (masculine, plural: biglietti d’auguri). This literally translates as greeting card. The d’ is the short form of di and drops the i because auguri begins with a vowel (elision). That being said, biglietto di auguri is correct too.

IPA: /biʎˈʎet.to d’au.ˈɡu.ri/

What’s interesting is that Italians tend to use the generic biglietto di auguri without explicitly specifying the occasion as we do in English. In other words, birthday cards, Christmas cards, Easter cards and anniversary cards can all be grouped under the same umbrella that is biglietto di auguri. This is because it is normally quite easy to guess the purpose of a card simply by taking into account who the receiver is or the time of year.

Ho ricevuto un biglietto di auguri ritagliato a forma di renna.

I received a (Christmas) card cut out in the shape of a reindeer.


However, if you really want to specify that a card is for Christmas rather than some other occasion, it is perfectly acceptable to say:

  • biglietto di/per natale
  • biglietto di auguri di/per Natale
  • biglietto di auguri natalizi

Mio zio mi ha mandato un biglietto di auguri per Natale a Giugno. Che strano!

My uncle sent me a Christmas card in June. How strange!


two christmas cards on a wooden table, the first one is red with lots of santa drawings, the second shows a town square covered in snow in the evening with a Christmas tree at the centre

Another alternative is simply biglietto natalizio, though you won’t hear it as much as biglietto di auguri.

On its own, the word biglietto can also mean ticket or bank note.


Christmas greetings for an Italian Christmas card

If you are planning to write biglietti di auguri to your Italian friends and family this year, here are a couple of useful Christmas greetings you might want to include:

Ti auguro Buon Natale e un felicissimo Anno Nuovo!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!


Tantissimi Auguri di Buone Feste a te e alla tua famiglia!

Best wishes for the festive season to you and your family!


You can find even more Christmas greetings by visiting our dedicated article!

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