Surprising Words: la due giorni?

Ciao a tutti!

It has been a while since we have published a “Surprising Words” segment.

This segment is based on a recent conversation I had with Daniele. I am a big fan of SBS Radio from my time living in Australia, and I saw on their web site that Angelo Alfano (a politician in Italy) had made a trip recently to the land “down under.”

On the SBS web site, they talked about “la due giorni” of his visit. La? La!? Why is it feminine? “What is happening?” I asked myself.

As you can see, the expression is composed of the adjective due with the masculine plural noun giorni. Daniele pointed out to me that this expression is a neologismo or a neologism (in other words, a new or recently coined word or expression).

According to Treccani’s Neologismi (2008 edition), the expression first appeared in 2001. It refers to an event that lasts/takes place over two days. You will most likely encounter this expression in journalistic contexts.

Search for the expression at Google New — I was surprised by what I found!

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il sampietrino

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun il sampietrino (or sanpietrino), which means cobble or paving stones.

These are the stones that line many streets of Rome, and they get their name St. Peter and the Piazza di San Pietro, which is lined with these cobbles. If you have been to Rome, you will have walked on sampietrini at some point.

See the noun used below:

La mia amica si lamenta sempre del fatto che le strade di Roma sono lastricate di sampietrini e lei, che ama vestirsi bene, non può mai indossare le scarpe col tacco perché non riesce a camminare su quei sampietrini.

My friend always complains about the fact that the streets of Rome are paved with sampietrini, and she, who loves to dress well, can never wear high heels because she is unable to walk on these paving stones.

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intirizzito

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adjective intirizzito, which means chilled or numb. This is a useful adjective for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere where winter is in full swing:

Brrr! Che freddo! Ho le mani e i piedi completamente intirizziti!

Brrr! It’s cold out! My hands and feet are totally numb!

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fare un freddo cane

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression fare un freddo cane, which means to be freezing cold. It literally means to be a cold dogYou will hear Italians say this a lot in the winter months to describe extremely cold weather. See the expression used below:

Lo scorso inverno faceva un freddo cane, ti ricordi che anche gli sportelli della macchina erano congelati e non potevamo aprirli? Mamma mia quanto freddo!

Last winter it was freezing cold, do you remember that the car windows were also frozen, and we couldn’t open them? Dang, what cold weather!

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quando meno se lo aspetta

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression quando meno se lo aspetta, which means when you/one least expect(s) it. This expression is formed with the verb aspettarsi, which means to expectSee the expression used below:

Alfredo è un po’ giù perché cerca un lavoro da mesi e non trova niente. Gli ricordo che troverà qualcosa quando meno se lo aspetta.

Alfredo is a bit down because he has been looking for a job for months and is not finding anything. I remind him that he will find something when he least expects it.

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la sbornia

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun la sbornia, which means bender. 

A bender is a wild drinking spree that someone might do when they are partying on vacation or perhaps are depressed or upset about something. In Italian, you can also say prender(si) una sbornia, which means to go on a bender. 

See the noun used below:

Giacomo e io siamo preoccupati per Tommaso. Tre giorni fa Lucia l’ha cacciato di casa e lui, depresso, è andato a bere in un locale. Dice che la sbornia è l’unico modo per calmare il suo dolore.

Giacomo and I are worried about Tommaso. Three days ago Lucia kicked him out of the house, and he, being depressed, went to drink in a bar. He says a bender is the only way for him to dull the pain.

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sbronzo

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adjective sbronzo, which means smashed, drunk, or plastered.

See the adjective used below:

I tifosi erano tutti sbronzi dopo la partita di calcio.Tutti camminavano storti mentre tentavano di tornare a casa.

The fans were so plastered after the football match. Everyone was walking unsteadily while they were trying to get home.

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