5 Illuminating Italian Words You’ve Never Heard Before

5 Illuminating Italian Words You’ve Never Heard Before


I don’t know any Italian people so my understanding of the unique cultural makeup of this fine nation comes almost exclusively from the exploits of the Italian-American family of The Sopranos and the few extremely attractive and intimidating ladies I briefly spoke to on a two-day trip to Milan five years ago.


I’m not going to be flying to Italy any time soon so what better way to get a brief glimpse inside the collective head of the Italians than by a look at the idiosyncrasies of their mother tongue. Read on for 7 illuminating Italian words you’ve never heard before.


Illuminating Italian Words 01

Loved by cats and arty photographers the world over, there is no equivalent word in English for that dancing, smattering of light that you see on water or in a mirror. Gorgeous.


Illuminating Italian Words 02

Definitely the most fun word on this list to pronounce, attaccabottoni is the least fun thing on this list to experience.


Illuminating Italian Words 03

Closely related to the English word ‘naufragous’, naufragio means an event that is a disaster although I’m not sure it can really be applied to a party. Open a bottle of vodka and put a Whitesnake album on and you’ve got a non-naufragio party, my friend.


Illuminating Italian Words 04A nice verb here just to stir things up. Sadly, I haven’t got the pronunciation for this one but however you say it commuovere is a beauty of a word.



Illuminating Italian Words 05

There may be an equivalent English expression with a meaning close to dormiveglia: my life.

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