Word of the Day – Monday, March 5

The Word of the Day today is a tri-lingual mutilization of a French word, which, when used in it’s correct sense, I still don’t fully understand. I do know the word isn’t necessarily a “polite” word in French conversation, however, our derivation of the word is nothing but sweet.

Our Word

(pronounces Shaw-She)

Chochi” can be used in many ways and is used to describe all things feminine.

Here are a few examples…

Peppe: “What time do you need to wake up in the morning?”

Me: “8:30”

Peppe: “Are you sure? We have to leave by 9:00, does that give you enough time to chochi?”

– or –

Me: “Peppe, let’s decorate the B&B”

Peppe: “Ok, what do we need?”

Me: “Mirrors, flowers, vases, paintings…”

Peppe: “Do we really need all that chochi stuff?”

– or –

Me: “You ready to go, Pep?”

Peppe: “Just a second…” (Pep sprays cologne)

Me: “You are a chochi!”

As you can see in the three previous examples, the word “chochi” knows no linguistic boundary. It can be a verb (as in example #1 – “Do you have enough time to chochi?”), or it can be an adjective (as in example #2 – “Do we really need all that chochi stuff?”), or even a noun (as in example #3 – “You are a chochi!”).

The word “chochi” can also be conjugated in a variety of ways, as in these examples.

Peppe: “What were you doing?”

Me: “Stavo chochando

– or –

Peppe: “What do you need to do this morning?”

Me: “Io devo chochire.”

But, the ultimate example, I overheard yesterday morning in a conversation between Peppe and his dad, discussing Aunt Maria’s tardiness…

(I’m paraphrasing here…)

Peppe’s dad: “Where is she?”

Peppe: “I don’t know.”

Peppe’s dad: “She is always late.”

Peppe: “She is a chochottina.”

At the sound of this variation, I turned to Pep.

“Did you just say ‘chochottina‘ to your dad?”


“Does he understand? We made up that word, remember?”

So….ladies and gents…feel free to take the word and make it your own. We love “Chochi“, and I think you will, too.

7 Responses
  1. sognatrice

    Very funny. I think P would go for that word; I’ll have to try it out. We use a word “scamazzare” to mean to do something with gusto. We’re going to scamazz’ that dinner tonight; like you said, the funniest part is when it gets conjugated, or even turned into a noun. I tend to do this with a lot of words, just adding “atore” or “atrice” to the ends–in this case, I would say to P: “Ah, allora tu sei il mio scamazzatore stasera!” when he has eaten everything in sight. I may have to post about this, linking to you, of course 😉

  2. Kathleen aka Coffee Mom

    I like it – we’ve made up a few words too, both in english and italian. No on ever knows what we’re talking about!

  3. j

    Well the way you use that word is fun and I really can’t think of another English word that quite describes all things feminine in just that way. But what you said about the impolite derivation is maybe also true. I knew a Jewish woman once who used a very similar word to describe certain female anatomical parts.

  4. Mama C

    I will have to find out exactly how impolite that word is from our French teacher.

    I do indeed teach Latin. I’ve been to Italia three times. I cannot speak a word. I can almost count to ten. Can you recommend a good program for learning? I’m going again next summer (2008), and would like a few words in my vocabulary!

  5. Cherrye

    Sognatrice and Coffee Mom – share some of your words, too…it is funny to hear what others come up with.

    J and Mama C – the french word is “chochette”…just in case you are trying to look it up…remember – we don’t mean it that, way….

  6. nikinpos

    We have a load of made up words too, a lot of them originating from my mistakes while learning Italian. Then we end up usng them in every day conversation and get blank looks from everybody else. Don’t try telling people that the baby has been ‘piangevole’ all day, and don’t try and translate ‘itchy’ into ‘prudevole’ cos it’s not!

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