Italian Word of the Day: Schizzinoso (picky / fussy)

The Italian word for someone who is very hard to please, especially when it comes to food and drink, is schizzinoso. Possible English translations include picky, fussy or finicky. It may also describe a person who is intolerant of people, things, or manners he or she considers vulgar.


The word is thought to derive from the northern schizza (“squashed nose”), alluding to those who wrinkle their nose to express disgust.

Mio fratello è schizzinoso nel mangiare.

My brother is a picky eater.

Offended and fussy little child boy during eating outdoor
Che bambino schizzinoso! – What a fussy baby!

Because it is an adjective, the ending changes according to the gender and/or plurality of the subject:

  • schizzinoso = masculine, singular
  • schizzinosa = feminine, singular
  • schizzinosi = masculine, plural
  • schizzinose = feminine, plural

Schizzinoso, along with its feminine and plural forms, can also function as a noun, in which case it translates as fusspot or picky person. The expressions fare lo schizzinoso (for a man) and fare la schizzinosa (for a woman) mean to be picky / fussy.

Dai, non fare lo schizzinoso e mangia quello che ti ho preparato!

Come on, don’t be a fusspot and eat what I prepared for you!

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