Italian Word of the Day: Pazzesco (crazy / incredible)

Did you recently see or hear something that completely blew your mind? If so, you could use the Italian adjective pazzesco to describe it!

/paz·zé·sco/

The feminine and plural forms of pazzesco are as follows:

  • pazzesca = feminine, singular
  • pazzeschi = masculine, plural
  • pazzesche = feminine, plural

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cover image with the word “ pazzesco” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Pazzo vs pazzesco: what’s the difference?

Pazzesco derives from the adjective pazzo which means crazy or insane. The way in which pazzesco differs from pazzo is as follows.

Pazzo is used to define a person’s behaviour or state of mind (e.g. un uomo pazzo = a crazy man). It may also refer to something that is typical of a crazy person (e.g. un’idea pazza = a crazy idea).

Pazzesco can denote something senseless or absurd just like pazzo (e.g. un piano pazzesco = a crazy plan). However, it may also refer to something exaggerated or over the top as in the following common examples:

fare un freddo / caldo pazzesco = to be terribly cold / hot
avere una fame / sete pazzesca = to be terribly hungry / thirsty
fare una fatica pazzesca = to work really hard, to make a big effort

È arrivato alla festa con un ritardo pazzesco!

He arrived at the party incredibly late!


A sleepy woman waking up
Mamma mia, ho ancora un sonno pazzesco! – Gosh, I’m still dead tired!

In a positive sense, pazzesco colloquially refers to something incredible or amazing (e.g. un concerto pazzesco = an amazing concert).

Il nuovo brano di Elisa è pazzesco! Potrei ascoltarlo tutto il giorno senza mai stufarmi!

The new song by Elisa is amazing! I could listen to it all day and never get tired of it!


In colloquial Italian, you will often hear the exclamation Ma è pazzesco! (It’s crazy! It’s ridiculous!) in relation to things that are surprising, amazing or ridiculous. You can also use Pazzesco! on its own.

Ma è pazzesco! Il pilota ha finito il gran premio su tre ruote!

That’s crazy! The driver finished the grand prix on three wheels!


motocross bike in a race representing concept of speed and power in extreme sport
Pazzesco! Guarda che salto che fa! = Crazy! Look at that jump!

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