Surprising Words: il culaccino

With my studies in politics and international relations in full gear, I have not had a lot of time to devote to studying and reading much Italian. A few weeks ago, however, I worked on a research proposal on Italian mafia and politics and, to make a long story short, I did a lot of reading in Italian.

The course of my research and reading, I ran across this strange word: il culaccino.

Have you encountered this word? I had never heard it, but it has several meanings:

  1. the end of a piece of salami or a loaf of bread (this is my favorite part of the bread, I must admit).
  2. the last bit of some substance in a glass or vessel (the dregs of something).
  3. a ring left by a glass, mug, or cup by water or some other liquid.

Strangely enough, it is derived from the Italian word il culo, which means butt or bottom. I guess now it all makes sense…

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