Italian Word of the Day: Aragosta (lobster)

Aragosta (feminine, plural: aragoste) is what Italians call a lobster, everyone’s favourite large marine crustacean (crostaceo) with stalked eyes and pincers. Both the Italian and English words can be traced back to the Latin locusta, the word for locust. It was presumably called as such because of the similarity in appearance between the two creatures!


Typically, lobsters are either bluish green (verde bluastro) or greenish brown (marrone verdastro) so as to blend in with the ocean floor. It is only once they are cooked that they become bright red (rosso vivo) in colour due to the presence of the astaxanthin pigment in their systems.

Adoro mangiare l’aragosta ma è molto costosa.

I love eating lobster but it is very expensive.

freshly cooked lobster with salad, half a lemon and sauce
Un’aragosta appena cotta = A freshly cooked lobster

Colore aragosta, or lobster pink in English, is an orange-red shade that gets its name from the colour of a lobster when it is cooked.

Did you know that…?
Today polpa di aragosta (lobster meat) is revered as a luxury food item but during colonial times, such was their abundance that they were used as fertiliser and routinely fed to prisoners, apprentices, slaves and children! (Source:

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