Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Words and Phrases - 10 words from Italian

Hello Everyone!

    The Italian language is a significant contributor to the English language. We may use many English words in our day to day life without realising they have been derived from the Italian language. Have a look at the below paragraph, and identify the words that have been adopted to English from Italian.

   "I ate vegetable bruschetta as a starter. It was followed by cheese macaroni Pasta al dente in main course, al fresco. It contained broccoli, parmesan cheese, macaroni pasta and oregano. I finished off with pistachio gelato."

   Few words you might have used many times but could not identify as Italian loan words. Following are the words and their origins:

Bruschetta : Slices of bread that have been broiled, rubbed with garlic, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt, and layered with any of various toppings such as chopped tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, or ham.

                    Derived from Italian, brusco, "charred, toasted"


Macaroni : Pasta in any of various hollow shapes, especially short curved tubes.

                    Derived from Italian dialectal, maccaroni, plural of maccarone, small lump of pasta, piece of macaroni.

Pasta : A food preparation of thin, unleavened dough, processed into a variety of forms, as spaghetti or ravioli.

                    Derived from Italian, from Late Latin, paste, pastry cake;

Al dente : Cooked but still firm to the bite.

                    Derived from Italian : al, to the + dente, tooth.

Al fresco : In the fresh air, outdoors.

                   Derived from Italian al fresco, in the fresh (air) : al, in the + fresco, fresh.

Broccoli :  A plant (Brassica oleracea var. italica) in the mustard family, having dense clusters of numerous green flower buds.

                  Derived from Italian, pl. of broccolo, flowering sprout of a turnip, diminutive of brocco, shoot, sprout, from Vulgar Latin *brocca, spike; see brocade.

Parmesan : A hard, sharp, dry Italian cheese made from skim milk and usually served grated as a garnish.

                 Derived from French, from Old French permigean, of Parma, from Old Italian parmigiano.

Oregano : A perennial Eurasian herb (Origanum vulgare) in the mint family, having aromatic leaves. Also called wild marjoram.

                 Derived from Spanish orégano, wild marjoram, from Latin orīganum.

Pistachio : A deciduous tree (Pistacia vera) of central and western Asia, having dry, drupaceous, nutlike fruits.

                Derived from Italian pistacchio, from Latin pistacium, pistachio nut, from Greek pistakion, from pistakē, pistachio tree, of Iranian origin; akin to Middle Persian pistag.

Gelato : An Italian ice cream or sorbet.

               Derived from Italian, from past participle of gelare, to freeze.

 Reference for meanings origins: The Free Dictionary

    I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Keep on reading and keep on learning!

- N K Sran

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