Friday, July 2nd, 2010

“Ciao” is perhaps the most common purely Italian word that most English speakers know. It is found in most recent recent dictionaries. It is also different from most English words in the same way that another adopted word “aloha” is different. They both mean both “hello” and “goodbye”. I’ve never figured out how one word could be both but two disparate cultures have come up with the same thing. Another Italian word that has opposite meanings is “prego”. This means both “please” and “thank you”. Perhaps other languages have words with these contrary meanings but I have no idea how to find out. Italian always seems to have such a lyrical sound due to it’s general alternation between vowel and consonants. Beyond that there are a number of words that seem poetic withing themselves. A couple of examples girasole and arcobaleno. The former is the word for sunflower. The word is a combination of gira (turn) and sole (sun). So it really means turns with the sun which is exactly what sunflowers do.

Arcobaleno is the the word for rainbow. While it is also a very lyrical word the arco (arc) and baleno (flash) is not quite as descriptive as girasole but magical in it’s own way. I’ll let you know about other examples of the innate poetry of some of the Italian words as I come across them.

2 Responses to “Ciao”

  1. Bernadette Says:

    Enjoyed your Dreaming In Italian blog. You’ve been on my mind lately. Vacationed with Dix O’Connor and brought her an old photo of the three of us, presumably taken by Cynthia. I told her of the passing of the Pesto Party tradition. I’ll send you a photo of an arboleno I saw on my vacation in The Finger Lakes, NY. Ciao, bello.

  2. admin Says:


    Thank you for your comment. Your comment reminds me that I will need to do a post or two on the pesto party.


Leave a Reply