Italian Word of the Day: Scorciatoia (shortcut)

If you are in a hurry to get from point A to point B, you may prefer to take a scorciatoia (feminine, plural: scorciatoie) – the word for shortcut in Italian – rather than the long way around.

IPA: /scor·cia·tó·ia/

The word is a combination of the verb scorciare, which means to shorten, and the instrumental suffix -oia.

The way you would say to take a shortcut in Italian is, quite literally, prendere una scorciatoia.

Conosco una scorciatoia che ci farà risparmiare mezz’ora.

I know a shortcut that will save us a half an hour.

In addition to denoting a faster-than-average route, it may also refer to a quicker way of achieving a certain goal.

L’intervento non è una scorciatoia per dimagrire, ed è importante continuare a seguire una dieta sana ed equilibrata.

The operation is not a shortcut to help you lose weight, and it is important to continue to follow a healthy and balanced diet.

In computing, both the English shortcut and the Italian scorciatoia also denote a fast keyboard command that lets you perform an action in an accelerated way.

A far less common synonym of scorciatoia is accorciatoia which comes from the verb accorciare (to shorten).

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