Search Results for florentinisms

September 10, 2009

Denise Tann’s contributions to Florentinisms

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
January 15, 2009

Liceo Scientifico Leonardo da Vinci sends us their Florentinisms

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!   acchiappino: clothespin   bischero: stupid, good for nothing   brindellone: an unkempt, sloppy person   calzoni: trousers   ciantella: slipper   cignata:
June 26, 2008

The beginnings of Florentinisms + bischero, ganzo, brindellone

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 […]
January 19, 2012

Keith Sheldrake

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
March 24, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

  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 […]
January 13, 2011

Capturing the Florentine language

Although so far, the online site 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 […]
March 25, 2010


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 […]
November 19, 2009


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
February 26, 2009


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 kids, >Ciccio,
February 12, 2009


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