The English Language

Borrowed Words From
Italian

87 Words Listed


Italian Language Notes

Italian is an Indo-European language spoken in Italy and Switzerland.

Borrowed words from Italian can be grouped into several types:

Music ("concerto", "opera", "violin"), military ("colonel", "attack"), architecture ("balcony", "corridor"), economic ("bankrupt"), food ("macaroni", "pizza") and politics ("ballot", "fascist").

Also from Italian is a word associated with the USA ("America") and one associated with the UK ("umbrella").


WordMeaningNotes
a cappella   Singing without music. One of many musical terms from Italian.
alarm call to arms One of many military terms from Italian.
allegro lively, gay Musical term: in brisk time.
America   Continent named after an Italian navigator and cartographer.
aria   Musical term: a long accompanied song for one voice.
attack    
balcony   One of many architectural terms from Italian.
ballot   From the balls used for voting.
bandit    
bank money lenders' table  
bankrupt broken money lenders' table The table would be broken if the money lender was unable to trade.
bravo   Cry of approval.
broccoli   A vegetable. One of many food terms from Italian.
buffoon    
canon large tube  
canteen    
cartoon    
casino    
colonel   Military rank.
concerto   Musical term: music for a single instrument accompanied by orchestra.
confetti little sweets Thrown at a newly married couple.
corridor    
crescendo grow Musical term: gradual increase in loudness.
desk table  
ditto said  
dome    
escort    
fascist bundle From the symbol of Roman imperial power.
fiasco    
fresco   Method of painting.
gazette Venetian small coin From the cost of a news sheet.
ghetto   From the name of a Jewish area in 15th century Venice.
gondola   Originally a cabin on an airship.
graffiti    
gusto    
incognito    
inferno    
influenza   An illness.
lava    
libretto little book Musical term: the text of an opera.
lido   A bathing place near Venice now a generic term for swimming pools in the UK.
macaroni   A type of pasta.
madrigal   Musical term: short song for several voices.
maestro    
Mafia    
malaria bad air It used to be thought that malaria was caused by stale air.
manager    
mandolin   A stringed musical instrument.
mezzanine middle Middle level floor in a building.
Morocco from Marrakesh North African country.
motto saying  
moustache    
nepotism nephew Giving jobs to relatives.
opera works Plural of 'opus' (work).
parasol for the sun  
partisan    
pasta paste From the dried flour paste used in cooking.
piano from 'pianoforte' - soft loud Musical instrument.
pizza    
porcelain    
portfolio    
prima donna first lady  
propaganda   Originally a religious term.
quartet   Musical term: for four voices or instruments.
regatta boat race  
risk run into danger  
semolina little bran Grains left after the milling of flour.
solo   Single performer.
sonata   Composition for a single instrument.
soprano   The highest female voice.
spaghetti little strings A type of pasta.
staccato detach Musical term: play in an abrupt manner.
stiletto little dagger Originally a dagger, then the heel of a female's shoe.
stucco    
studio    
tarantula   Named after area where found in Italy.
tempo   Musical term: time.
torso trunk  
trio   Musical term: for three voices or instruments.
umbrella little shadow  
vendetta    
vermicelli little worms A type of pasta.
viola   Musical term; a stringed instrument.
violin   Musical term; a stringed instrument.
virtuoso    
volcano    
zany   Venetian version of 'John'.

[Borrowed Words (Iroquois)] [Borrowed Words (Japanese)]

© 2017, KryssTal


Books From Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


KryssTal Related Pages

A short history of the world's most widespread language from its Anglo Saxon origins via Norman and Latin influences to Modern English.

The most widely studied family of languages and the family with the largest number of speakers. Languages include English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, Greek, Hindi, Bengali; and the classical languages of Latin, Sanskrit, and Persian.

Italian uses the Latin alphabet developed for Ancient Italian (Latin).

First names from Italian.

[Top]