Italian Word of the Day: Magone (the blues / down in the dumps)

If you are feeling depressed, upset or anxious about something, so much so that it causes a feeling of tightness in the stomach, a great word you can use to describe the feeling in Italian is magone.

italian word magone

Magone is a masculine noun that derives from the Lombardic mago, which in turn comes from the Proto-Germanic mago meaning ‘stomach‘. The plural is magoni (but bear in mind that it is almost always used in its singular form) and it takes the following articles:

il magone

un magone

i magoni

dei magoni

There are a number of possible translations in English for this word, depending on the context:

  • the blues
  • down in the dumps
  • a knot in one’s stomach
  • a lump in one’s throat
  • to get (someone) down

You will usually see it in the company of the following verbs:

  • avere (to have) > avere il / un magone
  • prendere (to get / take) > prendere il magone
  • venire (to come) > venire il magone
  • far prendere (to make take) > far prendere il magone (a qualcuno)
  • far venire (to make come) > far venire il magone (a qualcuno)
  • provare (to feel) > provare un magone
  • salire (to rise) > salire il magone

Here are a few example sentences that demonstrate how magone is normally used in context.

Come mai hai il magone oggi?

Why are you down in the dumps today?
Why have you got the blues today?

Mi viene il magone solo a pensarci.

It gets me down just thinking about it.
I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Provo un magone ogni volta che rivedo i video di mio figlio da neonato.

I get a lump in my throat every time I see videos of my son as a newborn.

portrait one sad man standing near a window at the day
Mi è salito il magone. = I have the blues.

On a completely unrelated note, magone is also the word for gizzard, the thick-walled part of a bird’s stomach. Despite its similar appearance, it has nothing to do with the word mago which means wizard.

A feminine version, magona, exists but refers to ironworks.

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

Lingopie (affiliate link) is the Netflix of language learning application that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. You can choose a show to watch based on your fluency level, and use the interactive subtitles to get instant translations to help you learn quickly.

Are you interested in improving your Italian in a fun and stress-free manner? Then we highly recommend Serena Capilli's short stories in Italian (affiliate link), designed for beginners, advanced beginners, and lower intermediate learners (A1-B1 CEFR). These stories have been optimised for English speakers in search of a fun, laid-back learning experience! Read our full review here.

Leave a Comment