My Five Favorite Italian Words

Last week Jessica of Why Go Italy shared her five favorite Italian words as part of a meme over at Italofile.

Melanie tagged me for this meme way back when and I thought there was no better time than now to partake.

In fact, I’ve been tossing around ideas such as “funny Italian words,” “strange Italian words,” even “beautiful Italian words,” so I figured I’d throw ’em all together and share them today.

1. Allora

Allora is one of my all-time favorite Italian words and like  many Italians I know, I toss it into the conversation whenever I get a chance. It can be used like, “and, so … ” or “in that case” and even “now what?”

Ex: Allora … dimmi!

So …. tell me!

2. Meno male

In English, we’d say, “thank goodness,” but in Italian it it so much more charming. Meno male literally means “less bad,” and is one of those Italian expressions that makes me laugh. Seriously, I love it and since I learned it I have looked for ways to interject it into my conversations. For more, read this article on meno male in The Florentine.

Ex: Meno male che ci sei tu.

Thank goodness you are here.

3. Stufa

When I think of stufa I think of the little electric heater that could, working so hard to build up his steam that finally, after years of trying, he explodes. Yes, stufa means stove but it can also be used as an expression to say you are sick of something.

Ex: Oggi sono stufa di parlare.

I’m tired of talking today.

4. Telefonino

I actually like most of the words that end in “ino” and make the base word just a little smaller, but telefonino is one of my favorites. Really, it is so much cuter that cellulare, isn’t it?

Ex: Ho perso il mio telefonino.

I lost my cell phone.

5. Berlusconiani

The first time I heard this word I almost fell out of my chair. Can you guess what it means?

It describes someone who likes Italy’s controversial prime minister and is essentially calling them “a fan of Berlusconi.” Apparently it can be used for anyone, so those of you out there who like me can be called “Cherryeani.”

I like it.

Ex: E’ un berlusconiano!

He is a person who likes Berlusconi. (Just ain’t the same, is it?)

So confess. What are you favorite Italian words? If you have a blog, join in the meme and post on your site, otherwise, leave them in the comments.

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Photo: Podbean

5 Responses
  1. Roseann


    Today’s post is so sweet! These are the kinds that I love.

    A little taste of every day Italy.

    Thanks, Roseann. Glad you liked it!

  2. Telefonino is one of my favourites too – it’s so *sweet*. I love that you can add -ino or -issimo to pretty much anything and make a whole new word.

    Aspetta is one that I use all the time, as my language skills are so basic that I’m constantly having to apologise for my slowness. Mind you, my students do the same to me when they’re trying to formulate sentences in English, so I don’t feel too bad about it. đŸ™‚

    You shouldn’t feel badly about it-and yes, LOVE the little ini, ino, etc you can add. Sometimes I jumble ’em up, though!

  3. Adrienne

    Um, my fav: well several actually. pipistrello ( bat) and stuzzicadenti (tooth pick) Sure sounds better in Italian, si o no? I especially like the tooth pick one as it means tooth teaser.


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