Italian Word of the Day: Fruscio (rustle / rustling)

The word fruscio (masculine) in Italian is a noun that usually describes the following kinds of subdued sounds:

  • robes swishing
  • flowing water of a stream or river
  • leaves rustling in the wind
  • feet walking along the ground
  • snakes rustling in the grass

In most cases, it equates in meaning to the words rustle or rustling in English.

The plural form is fruscii with the double “i” at the end. You can hear the singular and plural pronunciations below.

/fru·scì·o//fru·scì·i/
cover image with the word “fruscio” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Fruscio is onomatopoeic, which means that it was conceived from the sound with which it is associated.

Mi piace ascoltare il fruscio delle foglie mosse dal vento.

I like listening to the rustle of the leaves blowing in the wind.


Related to this noun is the verb frusciare which, as you probably guessed, means to rustle or to swish.

Leather shoes walking on fall leaves Outdoor with Autumn season nature on background
Il fruscio dei piedi tra le foglie secche. = The rustle of feet among dry leaves.

In the world of audio, fruscio (di fondo) can refer to background noise or a hiss / crackle.

In the past, fruscio was used to describe the magnetic noise of tapes, as well as that made by the needle of a phonograph / turntable when touching the surface of the disc.

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