Abbiocco (Italian)

The drowsiness experienced after eating a big meal.

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Boh (Italian)

“I don’t know”.  Used to express uncertainty/doubt. Pronunciation: /bo:/ Word donated by Elisa

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Cazzimma (Italian, Neapolitan dialect)

Opportunistic cunning and ruthlessness; the resolute attitude of those who are shrewd and confident that they know how to get by, and are happy to harm others in order to do so.  People who will always act to their own advantage. Word donated by David

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Scelleraggine / Scellerataggine (Italian)

Describes the act of a very wicked or evil person; a mean, cowardly, infamous and shameful act (which in Italian could be also described as ‘atto nefando’ another phrase that is quite difficult to translate). Word donated by Simona

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Qualunquismo (Italian)

A person who really doesn’t care about politics and societal issues. The term comes from an Italian political party that promoted anti-political feelings and mistrust of public organizations.

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Sprezzatura (Italian)

Sprezzatura (Italian pronunciation: [sprettsaˈtura]) is an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”. The word […]

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Commuovere (Italian)

Commuovere is a word usually lost in translation that comes close to meaning “heartwarming”, but in the sense that it directly relates to a story that has moved you to affectionate tears. Word donated by Sarah

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Magari (Italian)

Loosely translated as “maybe” but used for many other expressions as well. For example: ‘even so’, ‘perhaps’, ‘in my dreams’, ‘if only’. Expressing hope, wish or regret. Also used in a comparison of preference expressed by a coordinate adversative with phrasal value “perhaps, probably”. Word donated by Liz

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Culaccino (Italian)

The mark left on a table by a moist glass.

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Ponte (Italian)

While it literally means “bridge,” this word also refers to an extra day off taken to make a national holiday falling on a Tuesday or Thursday into a four-day vacation.

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Che palle (Italian)

Literally “what balls”. Used to express frustration, annoyance, and a general “ugh”. Its English meaning is close to “this sucks“. “Joe, go take out the trash!” “che PALLE…” *mutters under breath* Word donated by Stephanie

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Uovo di Colombo (Italian)

Literally: “Egg of Colombus”. A simple, obvious, idea that doesn’t occur to the person whom it would most benefit. After his return from America in 1493, Columbus was invited to a dinner in his honor by Cardinal Mendoza. Here are some people tried to downplay his achievements, saying that the discovery of the New World […]

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Attaccabottoni (Italian)

A boring person who corners people and tells long, sad tales.

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Cavoli Riscaldati (Italian)

An attempt to revive a dead love affair. Literally translated, it means “reheated cabbage.”

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Gattara (Italian)

A woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.

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