Caspita!!! Only five words?

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I have been asked by my friend and fellow lover of Italy, Melissa from Diario di una studentezza matta, to come up with my five favorite Italian words.  So…I took a pad and started writing down some words that I liked.  Some had a good ring to them; others had special meanings for me; and others were purely comical.   I kept coming up with more and more words.  I was jotting down words as I thought of them – even jotting while I was driving (only when I got to a stop light, of course!!!)  My list was growing and growing to a point where I felt I had better  stop otherwise it would take me too long to whittle it down to only five!  So here we go with the five I chose (the others I will save for a future post):

  •  Gingillo = trinket.  I would describe this word as “cute”.  You can just   imagine the daintiness of the item just by the sound of this word.
  • Tesoro = treasure.  This word has special meaning for me.  It is a term of endearment used in Italy between lovers and other dear ones.  I have been fortunate to have been called this many times by my dear family, both here and in Italy.  When someone calls you a tesoro, you feel such a sense of love towards you of which there is no comparison. 
  • Giro tondo = ring around the rosie!!  When I was a child, my mom would always sing the song about “Giro giro tondo, casca il mondo, casca la terra; tutti giù per terra. ”  I hadn’t thought about this little ditty in years!
  • Zitto! = shut up!!  This word needs no translation because it is always said with gusto and it’s meaning is VERY clear!
  • Sbrigati = hurry up!  Another word that is always said with lots of feeling!

The Italian language is always so expressive, and the words sound so lyrical.  Many times the words even sound like the action!  I’m always amazed that even when people are angry with each other, the words are still said in such a beautiful way that the angriness just seems to melt away (well maybe not always, but in my mind it does!)  And by doing exercises like this one, I am reminded of the depth of the Italian language and it’s beauty! 

And BTW, caspita means gosh!!!

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The origin of this exercise came from Melanie at Italofile   What a great idea!

3 responses »

  1. Ciao Barbara! I love your five words! I had never encountered “Gingillo” before…and it goes on my list of favorites to be learned by the end of the day! Look forward to future postings of more of your parole preferite!

  2. Pingback: Five Favorite Food Words in Italian...and 5 More Favorites - Food Lover's OdysseyFood Lover's Odyssey

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