Two words – suggestivo e morbido


Two words – suggestivo e morbido

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

These are two interesting words that I’ve talked about here in Italy with others. The first, suggestivo, came up in conversation at a meeting called the Magic Door, organized by two American expats. The concept is that when you go through the door one cannot speak any Italian, only English. However one of the expats said that she couldn’t use any other word other than “suggestivo” to describe a concept because she had never figured out an English word that has the same connotation. “Suggestive” as you might imagine comes to mind but is usually used in English with a sexual connotation especially with regard to women that dress in a sexually provocative way. Well, yes, that’s true. So I thought a lot about that and came up with what I think is the perfect word for the same concept. That word is “ evocative”. It describes a scene or place that suggests something sort of magical, bringing strong emotion laden images to mind. Near where I live I found a good example of something “suggestivo”.

 

On via Orsoni

On via Orsoni

And here’s another that I found to be suggestivo in a different way.

Bicycle locks, one with a special message

Bicycle locks, one with a special message

The other word, “morbido” came up in conversation with Renata. It can be used in several ways. I first encountered it several years ago as a way of describing an essential characteristic of grappa. There are two types of grappa, secca and morbida (note the “a” ending because grappa is feminine and requires that the adjective follows suit). Secca is dry, more astringent you might say, while morbida implies smooth – definitely my preference. I have found that it also is used, for example to distinguish between another characteristic, an example is when I went to buy tomatoes and the woman asked if I wanted some that were “croccanti” or “morbidi” (masculine plural), The first means firm to the bite, or perhaps crunchy and the second, softer. It’s also used, for perhaps coffee (the context in which this word came up in conversation with Renata) or wine. In this context it can also mean smooth or a less strong taste.

Then we got into a discussion about wine. I said that rather than 100 point scale with wine I have a 3 point scale: good (buono), adequate (discreto) or somewhat disgusting (schifo). I must add a fourth level even below schifo. That would be a wine that you could use to ammazzare (kill) ants. This latter I would apply to something like Yellow Tail or Two Buck Chuck which no Italian would understand because I can’t imagine that anyone here would ever buy wine that is so bad that it wouldn’t even be good enough to cook with.

two buck chuck - need I say more?

two buck chuck – need I say more?

Ditto

Ditto

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2 Responses to “Two words – suggestivo e morbido”

  1. Joy O'Neal Says:

    I like your wine rating scale and your designation of Two buck chuck and yellow tail as a wine you could use to kill ants! I have not had two buck chuck but just one sip of the yellow tail caused the word “nasty” to escape before I could stop it.

  2. Joe Says:

    Joy,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I get so much spam sometimes the real comments get lost. Thanks for the comment!

    Joe

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