Italian Word of the Day: Impacchettare (to wrap)

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!

The key to perfect gift wrapping is the paper. If you can measure a paper that’s the ideal size for whatever present you’re wrapping, you’re good to go! (And of course, a little patience goes a long way as well! 😉 )

The word for the verb to wrap in Italian is impacchettare. It is fairly easy to remember if you already know the word pacchetto which means package.

IPA: /im·pac·chet·tà·re/

Sei bravo a impacchettare regali?

Are you good at wrapping gifts?

Trivia: impacchettare also means to arrest someone in its figurative sense.

Pacchetto appears in an alternative expression that literally means to gift-wrap: fare un pacchetto regalo. Whereas impacchettare can be used for any kind of wrapping or packaging, this expression can only be used in reference to gifts. You will hear it frequently in department stores where gift-wrapping services are offered.

La commessa ha offerto di farmi un pacchetto regalo.

The saleswoman offered to gift-wrap (my purchase).

The paper used for gift wrapping is called carta da regalo (literally gift paper).

Yet another word that means to wrap or gift-wrap is incartare. Because it contains the word carta, it is normally used when you wrap things in paper as opposed to other materials.

Trivia: in its figurative form, incartare means to get stuck in a game of cards, or to be mixed up/confused.

Mi sono incartato durante il discorso di premiazione. = I got confused during the award speech.

Finally we have the word confezionare, which literally means to place inside a box/package. It too can be used as a translation for to wrap.

Ho confezionato il regalo di Natale con carta e nastro.

I wrapped the Christmas gift with paper and ribbon.

Who would have ever imagined that there were so many possible translations? 🙂

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