Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Familiar unfamiliar Italian words

Familiar unfamiliar Italian words
With Latin contributing so heavily to the English language, it stands to reason there are many words that look pretty similar in both English and Italian. What might surprise you is that the meanings aren’t always that similar. Here’s a taste of what we mean:
Camera – Say cheese. The word means ‘room’ in Italian – it’s why court judges meet ‘in camera’. It got its modern English meaning from the notion of photography equipment holding images in small chambers.
Libreria – True, it’s the source of the English ‘library’, but that doesn’t mean you can take the latest paperback without paying for it. In Italy, it’s what we call a bookstore.
Peperoni – That delicious meaty pizza topping, right? Nope. Ask for it in a restaurant and you’d get a raised eyebrow and a plate of capsicum peppers.
Box – Not a small place to put your stuff, but a slightly larger one to keep your car –it’s a garage.
Estate – Rather than a patch of private land with a property or two, in Italy the word means summer.
Rumore – Not the tittle-tattle of office gossip, but just noise.
Cava – You may lick your lips, but in Italy it’s not a bottle of bubbly, but a pit or quarry. Much drier. Cheers!