This week's Florentinisms come to us
courtesy of Canadian Denise Tann, who contacted us via email after discovering
our website. Thanks, Denise!
Dear TF, I
just discovered Florentinisms. I had no idea some of those words were just
Florentine and not Italian! Trombaio? What else do you call
A big thanks to the students in Professor Brienza's 4H class at Liceo Scientifico Leonardo da Vinci,
who sent us a list of their favorite Florentinisms!
bischero: stupid, good for nothing
brindellone: an unkempt, sloppy person
Linguists and scholars agree: the Florentine dialect can be considered the origin of the Italian language. Thanks to writers and poets like Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Francesco Petrarca and Alessandro Manzoni, the Florentine dialect became the peninsula’s lingua franca when Italy united in 1861. However, not all of the Florentine vocabulary made it into the […]
We all know the fairytale scenario of a young female foreigner being swept off her feet by a romantic Italian and moving to Florence to live happily ever after. After all, it's not easy for an Italian man to start a new life away from Italy, and it's
Aphrodisiacal, addictive, adds punch to any dish, has wonderful digestive properties? I needed no further convincing on a recent trip to Thailand to try chilli in my morning omelette; green papaya salad with toasted cashews, lime juice, fresh crunchy green beans and fresh sliced red hot chilli for lunch; pounded lemongrass and fresh chilli […]
Although so far, the online site www.vocabulariofiorentino.it has about 1,000 expressions in its collection, the Accademia della Crusca says it will release a printed dictionary in 2011 containing over 7,000 entries on the ‘contemporary Florentine’ language. The publication of the dictionary will be part of the local and national celebration of 150 years of Italian […]
Turo Plug or cover. Example: ‘Metti i’ turo nanni sennò viene la muffa!’ (Little one, put the cover on or it will get moldy!) Bulletta Nail. Example: ‘Sta’ attento a mettere le bullette, un tu lo vedi che tù rovini tutto i’ muro!?’ (Be careful where you put the nails; don’t you see […]
Thanks to Vieri Wiechmann for sending us some of his favorite Florentinisms.
Cantonata: Street corner. However, the idiomatic expression ‘prendere una cantonata' means to make a mistake.
Example: L'ha preso una cantonata di nulla! (He really messed that up good!)
Sèmelle: A specific type
Biancone: Local nickname for the giant marble Neptune fountain in
piazza della Signoria. Literally translated as the big white one', the statue
has historically been mocked for its exaggerated size and girth. During the
winter of 1985, which was particularly harsh, you could hear moms telling their
Topini: Not little mice (topi) but gnocchi. Next time you're out at a traditional Florentine restaurant, try the topini al sugo!
Zimino: Another traditional Florentine recipe, it is a way to prepare certain types of seafood (usually cod, cuttlefish and calamari) using chard, tomatoes and a little red