Amazing Italian Words That There’s No Translation For

Italy is great. It’s a land of pasta, and pizza, and wine… There’s probably more to it than that, but those are the ones that stick out. On top of good food and brilliant culture the Italian language also has some great words that don’t have an easy English translation. However, now that we know them, we can’t believe they’re not getting used more. Come on, Britain. If we can add the word ‘moobs’ to our dictionary, surely we slip some of these in too?

1. Culaccio

You know that really annoying ring that gets left by a cold glass on a hot day? That’s a culaccio. We can only imagine that houseproud Italian people have a much easier time of yelling at guests who refuse to use a coaster.

2. Abbiocco

This word basically translates as ‘the drowsiness you feel after a big meal’. It pretty much just describes the whole of Christmas day. Or, indeed, any lazy Sunday. It’s something we’ve all felt, and it’s definitely something that Italy is right in having a word for. They know what’s up over there.

3. Gattara

An elderly woman who cares for stray cats. Or, in other words, what lots of us aspire to be when we grow up. They live the dream and, as such, they deserve to have an actual (sort-of) job title.

4. Cavoli Riscaldi

This literally means ‘reheated cabbage’. However, in Italy they also use this to mean an attempt to revive a a failed friendship or relationship. We love it so much more than we will ever love reheated cabbage. Or any of our exes.

5. Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco

This literally translates as ‘not all donuts come out with a hole’. As an Italian, you might use it to mean ‘not everything turns out as planned’. We love this for two reasons. Firstly, it is very philosophical and so are we. Secondly, it is all about donuts and so are we.

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If you fancy learning some more Italian phrases don’t forget to check out the Italian classes available on HowNow – after all, who doesn’t love learning from the comfort of their own home?


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