Buone feste e altri aggiornamenti (Happy Holidays and other updates)

Ciao a tutti!

I am sure that many of you noticed that #PdG has been quiet since the summer. I want to apologize too all the followers of the site for my absence.

2019 was a tough year, both personally and professionally. I won’t bog you down with the bad news, but the good news is that I passed my comprehensive examinations for my doctorate and successfully defended my dissertation proposal. I achieved candidacy this August, and I have begun teaching my own classes. Needless to say, I have been quite busy doing a lot of teaching, research, and writing.

I plan to resume #PdG in January 2020 in a way that works both for my future academic career as well as maintain my hobby and love for my Italian heritage. #PdG has helped me to connect to my “roots,” and learning Italian has been an adventure that I want to continue. However, I will be going onto the job market soon, and I need to put a lot of time and energy into finding work as I finish up my PhD, and I need to make sure that the site provides a proper balance with professional and personal imperatives that consume a lot of my life’s bandwidth.

I want to shift gears a bit on the site and return to help users build their vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. I want to return to introducing users to new words and phrases that I encounter through Italian literature, film, music, and the daily news. We also have two final volumes coming out from our “Piccole Guide” series: one on pronouns and another on vocabulary building.

Thank you for your patience as I (re)organize my life and gear up for an exciting 2020! I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year!


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb evaporare. This verb literally means to evaporate, but it is often used by Italians to talk about excessive heat. 

You might translate this as to boil or to swelter.

You will hear this expression more often in the south of Italy, but it would not be strange to hear it in Rome or even in Milan!

See the verb used below:

Che caldo che faceva l’estate scorsa, ti ricordi? Siamo evaporati dal caldo quel giorno a Lecce. Ci saranno stati 35 gradi!

How hot was it last summer, do you remember? We sweltered in the heat that day in Lecce. It must have been 35 degrees!

il bacchettone

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun il bacchettone (la bacchettona), which means prude or prig.

See the noun used below in its context:

Che persona noiosa il padre di Valerio! Vede sempre il male nelle cose e ci dice sempre che noi ragazzi non abbiamo valori sani e pensiamo solo a divertirci e a cose inutili. Cavolo, è proprio un bacchettone!

What a boring person Valerio’s father is! He always sees the worst in things and tell us that we kids have no wholesome values, and we think only of having fun and other useless things. Gosh, he is a really a prig!

la zanzara tigre

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun la zanzara tigre (plural: le zanzare tigre), which means tiger mosquito. They are called this because of their unique white stripes.

This species of mosquito was not present in Italy until the 1990’s and have since spread throughout the continent. They are faster and smaller than your typical mosquito are quite difficult to control and kill. If you are in Italy in the summer, you are bound to run into them from time to time, especially during the day.

See the noun used below:

Le zanzare tigre non sono indigene dell’Italia: sono arrivate durante gli anni 90 dall’Asia e adesso sono un grande problema per tutto il Paese.

Tiger mosquitoes are not indigenous to Italy: they arrived during the 1990’s from Asia and now are a huge problem for the entire country.

provare vergogna

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression provare vergogna, which means to feel ashamed.

See the expression used below:

Il padre di Beatrice mi ha detto che ha provato molta vergogna quando ha saputo che la figlia prendeva in giro i suoi compagni di scuola. Per questo motivo, le ha vietato di uscire per sei mesi.

Beatrice’s father told me he felt very ashamed when he found out his daughter was teasing her classmates. Because of this he forbade her from going out for six months.

dirla lunga (su + qualcuno/qualcosa)

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb expression dirla lunga (su + qualcuno/qualcosa), which means to say a lot about someone/something.

See the expression used below:

Hai visto cosa ha fatto Marco ieri alla festa? Il suo comportamento la dice lunga sul suo carattere! Non penso di invitarlo ad un’altra festa!

Did you see what Marco did at the party yesterday? His behavior says a lot about his character. I do not think I will invite him to another party!

i saldi

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the plural noun i saldi, which means sales. In Italy, sales generally happen only twice a year: after Christmas in January and in the summer beginning the first few days of July.

This post from Italy Explained will give you the low down on sales!

See the noun used below:

Ti piace la mia maglietta? L’ho presa quest’estate quando c’erano i saldi: ho fatto un affare comprandola a metà prezzo!

Do you like my T-shirt? I got it this summer when the sales were on: I got a deal buying it at half price!

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