Non-Duolingo vocabulary

I was watching an Italian video on youtube today; the girls were in Trieste and when they arrived at the sea, and looked down into it, the one woman said, "Una medusa!"
It was a small jellyfish. So then: jellyfish = medusa .
Which makes a lot of sense, when you think about it.

I've previously posted that my favorite new italian word(s) was for a mustache: un paio di baffi , but now medusa is right up there!

Do you have any favorite new Italian words that are not on Duolingo (that you know of)?

November 7, 2016


It is meduusa in Finnish as well. As for Italian, abbiocco refers to drowsiness after a big meal. This word always makes me laugh, because it resembles the Finnish appiukko (father-in-law). :)

November 7, 2016

If you like mustache-related phrases, besides "a pair of mustaches" one that is quite common is: "mi fa un baffo!" It can't be translated literally, but basically it's used when you're facing a challenge of some kind and you feel pretty confident about it. It's kind of like saying "I'm not afraid at all! I don't even care!"
For example: le minacce mi fanno un baffo = threats have absolutely no effect on me

Another way of using this phrase, is when something unusual happens and you want to make a statement about a particular skill that you have. For example, if you were attacked by ten people and you managed to beat all of them up, you could say: "Bruce Lee mi fa un baffo!", or maybe someone else could say that about you, "Bruce Lee ti fa un baffo!"

Of course, normally "mustache" is always translated as "baffi" (plural), and I have absolutely no idea where this phrase comes from. Languages are weird.

November 7, 2016

Piroscafo: Steamboat

Luna Park: Amusement Park.

Fumetto: Comic

Strada ferrata: Railroad

Particella: Particle

Chiocciola: At sign (@)

Topolino: Mickey Mouse

Paperino: Donald Duck

November 7, 2016

Fun fact: "chiocciola" also means "snail", and the symbol @ kind of resembles a shell, so that's where it got its name :)

November 7, 2016

Another word for "snail" is "lumaca"...

November 7, 2016

Yes the word "lumaca" is definitely more common. Technically there's a small difference (lumaca = slug; chiocciola = snail), but people use them interchangeably anyway :)

November 8, 2016

Ciabattino: Cobbler.

Luopo Manaro: Werewolf

Nano: Dwarf

Fornaio: Baker

Bambola: Doll

Strega: Witch

Stregone: Warlock

November 7, 2016

This entry reminds me of another good word:
Pipistrello = Bat

When we were in Firenze (Florence) we went to a take-out pizza place called "Il Pipistrello", and they had a bat logo on their pizza box.

November 8, 2016

Vespa: wasp

But the word Vespa has also gone generic for scooters (first produced by Piaggio in 1944).

November 8, 2016

That one is very aptly named. Vespa scooters also had a particular model called "L'ape", which of course all Duolingo Italian students should recognize as "the bee".
Those scooters all sound like angry insects when they are operating at high speeds, which is the very reason for the name.

November 8, 2016

According to wikipedia:

Enrico Piaggio che alla vista del prototipo esclamò: «sembra una vespa!», per via del suono del motore e delle forme della carrozzeria che vista dall'alto la rendono somigliante all'insetto.

Technically l'ape is not scooter but a vehicle with 3 wheels (tricicilo), in Asia they call them tuktuk (or tuk-tuk) :

November 11, 2016

"Medusa" is an English word for it too! The cnidarians (the sort of things jellyfish are) have two body forms, one sessile and one free floating, called a polyp and a medusa respectively. :)

November 9, 2016
  • 2011

I love the word Fruttivendolo (greengrocer). It just sounds great!

November 11, 2016

avaro = stingy ingannarsi = mistake zucca = squash fetta = slice zenzero = ginger composto = mixture stammi bene = take care

November 9, 2016
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