Archive for 'Italian'

Lampascioni

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Lampascioni
howdoyousaythatword.com

This post is written with the assistance of http://www.caserecci.com/ Please visit and support their online store. A list of all pronunciations with audio and phonetic spelling is at the end of this article.

What are lampascioni?

“Lampascioni”, or “pampasciuni” are in fact a type of Hyacinth known as Tassel Hyacinths in English or by the Latin names Muscari Comosum or Leopoldia comosa. This short-stemmed plant with thin leaves and purple flowers belongs to the same family as garlic, but ...

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Words of the Week

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Words of the Week

I tend to spend more time answering queries and adding words to the database than dealing with the blog, so forgive my neglect here. I get a tons of queries in my mail, which I appreciate because it’s the best way to make sure the database is useful, but it’s hugely time-consuming, and lest we forget, there is but one of me.

Don’t let that deter you from sending in queries – you can either email me, ...

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Mortifying Italian Mispronunciations

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Mortifying Italian Mispronunciations

Do you love Italian food? Are you planning to travel to Italy someday? Considering learning how to speak Italian? Do you love eating at the authentic trattoria run by the lovely family from Italy? Would you intentionally use words that are insulting, obscene, suggestive, and downright disgusting to the locals in a foreign country? Here’s the thing. In Italian, the difference between an innocent dish on the menu, and something really vulgar can be minute.

Most English ...

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What is gelato?

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What is gelato?

For those of you who have written to me asking what gelato is, I promise you, you already know the answer, sort of! Gelato is Italian for ice-cream – but if you’ve ever had ‘the real thing’, you know that there is something about gelato that sets it apart from other ice-creams. The flavour is quite explosive – if the gelato is made with, say, strawberries, you taste the strawberries. There is a reason for this – several ...

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How do you say Col’cacchio?

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How do you say Col’cacchio?

Some time ago, a friend took me to lunch. “You must try this place – it makes the most fabulous pizzas”. She pronounced the name “kohl KAT/chee/oh’ which didn’t mean much to me, and off we went. While I was scrutinizing the menu, I looked at the name more carefully, and thought ‘oh wait, if “Col Cacchio” is Italian, you don’t say ‘kohl/KAT/chee/oh’, you say “kohl KAHK/kyoh”. Although it rang a faint bell, I wasn’t entirely sure what ...

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Have you been FICA’d?

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Have you been FICA’d?

All South Africans with bank accounts know that they have to FICA themselves, or they will have access to their money swiftly denied until they go to the bank and get it done. FICA stands for “Financial Intelligence Centre Act” which requires every individual with a bank account to provide incontrovertible proof of residence to the bank.   What on earth does this aggravating and intrusive requirement ...

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Is a ‘cappuccino’ a coffee, a monkey or a monk?

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Cappuccino

I am a Cappuccino!

People who associate the word ‘cappuccino’ only with the delicious beverage made with coffee and steamed milk topped with a thick milk foam may be surprised to learn that it is named after the Italian  Catholic Order of Capuchin Monks. ‘Cappuccino’ translated from Italian into English is ‘capuchin’, and comes from the Italian word ‘cappuccio’ (kahp/POOT/choh) which means a ...

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Mozzarella does not come from a bull!

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Disgruntled Water Buffalo tell English speakers 'Get it right, or stop eating our cheese'!

Mozzarella di Bufala

Everyone who considers themselves a food lover knows that the very best mozzarella does not come from a cow. No – don’t look at the title of this post, and misunderstand me completely! What I mean is, most mozzarella is made with cow’s milk, but proper mozzarella, the finest mozzarella is made from water buffalo milk – and to be absolutely ...

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