Five easy Italian difference with an engaging history

The Italian denunciation has been done by centuries of informative and chronological developments, so that any word has a story behind it.

Italian speakers – and learners – will be informed with any of a following words, and substantially use them on a unchanging basis, though do we know where they come from?

Italia | Italy

Photo: Elliott Brown/Flickr

Where does Italy get a name from? The many expected speculation is that it comes from a word ‘víteliú’, that meant ‘calf’ in a archaic Oscan language, that was oral in southern Italy. From this, a Latin word ‘vitulus’ referring to a immature calf, developed – and so did ‘Italia’, that expected meant something along a lines of ‘land of cattle’.

This referred during initial to southern Italy, that did indeed have copiousness of cattle, and had a longhorn as a pitch in contrariety to Rome’s pitch of a wolf. Slowly over time, ‘Italia’ came to impute to a peninsula as a whole.

Ragazzo | Boy

‘Raggazzo’ likely came into a Italian denunciation from Arabic, and derives from a Arabic word ‘raqqa sò’, that meant ‘messenger boy’ and is still used in some regions of northern Africa to meant ‘postman’. Lots of Arabic difference came to Italy in a 14th century, many of them associated to trade (many food items, for instance ‘zucchero’ and ‘caffe‘ have Arabic origins). From there, it remade into Latin ‘ragazium‘ and afterwards Italian ‘ragazzo’, and a definition got diluted so that now it simply means ‘boy’.

Fortunatamente | Fortunately

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…Or in fact, any adverb finale in ‘mente’. You substantially know that ‘mente’ also exists as an eccentric word in Italian, definition ‘mind’, and that’s where adverbs of this kind come from. In comparison forms of Italian, adverbs didn’t exist during all, so instead writers had to use lengthier constructions – this is still finished currently in phrases like ‘in modo semplice’ as an choice to ‘semplicemente’.

For example, when articulate about people, writers used phrases like ‘di mente lieta’ (of a happy mind) to get their indicate opposite and as centuries went by, this use was extended even to instances when a theme did not have a mind. As ‘mente’ mislaid a verbatim definition and came to work usually as a grammatical member (signifying that a word was an adverb), it solemnly changed to a finish of a word and became trustworthy to a verb rather than being an eccentric word.

Lei | You (formal)

The ancient Romans had usually one word for ‘you’ – ‘tu’ – and this form is apropos increasingly common in complicated Italy, though a Italian denunciation retains a eminence between a grave and spontaneous form of address. This was introduced in a Middle Ages, when a plural ‘voi’ was used with a higher – a suspicion was that it showed honour by acknowledging that they were equal to several single ‘tu’ people.

‘Voi’ is still used in some southern dialects, though in a northern dialects it was transposed by ‘Lei’ during courts. This grave ‘Lei’ shouldn’t be suspicion of as ‘she’ (which is ‘lei’ with a tiny ‘l’) – a delicate form is used since it stems from a tenure ‘Sua eccellenza’ (Your Excellency).

‘Voi’ and ‘Lei’ were in foe for a while, before tyrant Benito Mussolini rose to power. As partial of his reforms to a Italian language, he systematic a transformation of ‘Lei’ with ‘voi’; one of his reasons for this was a mistaken faith that ‘Lei’ stemmed from Spanish influence. After a Second World War, Italians were penetrating to shake off Mussolini’s influence, and incited behind to ‘Lei’  when vocalization to people in management positions. Note: The use of ‘voi’ as a grave ‘you’ in customary Italian (not a southern dialects mentioned above) still carries nazi associations and should generally be avoided.


When cappucinos were initial invented, they were really opposite from a ones you’ll find during your internal bar today, and were done from coffee, sugar, egg yolks and cream. The ensuing light brownish-red shade reminded people of a hooded robes traditionally ragged by Capuchin monks, so they christened a new kind of coffee ‘cappuccino’ or ‘little Capuchin’. The Capuchin monks themselves got their names from  their hoods (the Italian word for hood, ‘cappuccio‘, comes from a Latin ‘caputium‘) that were long, forked and brown, desirous by Francis of Assisi’s garments of poverty.

But when it comes to a drink, an even bigger startle is that a cappuccino didn’t even issue in Italy – there is no justification for it existent on a peninsular until a 20th century (when a invention of fridges authorised them to barter a egg and cream for milk), however a early forms of a libation were attested in Austria as a ‘kapuziner’ dual hundred years earlier. The normal chronicle of a ‘kapuziner’ can still be found in Austrian cafes, with usually a dump of cream, while a Austrians have re-adopted a Italian tenure cappuccino for a milkier version.

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