i voli pindarici

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun expression i voli pindarici, which means flights of fancy. The expression is derived from the ancient Greek author, Pindar, whose poems often jump from one argument to the next!

See the expression used below:

A volte è davvero difficile seguire le lezioni del mio professore di storia: fa molti voli pindarici, parla prima della Antica Grecia e un secondo dopo parla di Napoleone. Confonde noi studenti.

Sometimes it is really difficult to follow my history professor’s lessons: he takes many flights of fancy, first he will talk about Ancient Greece and a second later will talk about Napoleon. He confuses us students.

il calesse

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun il calesse, which means carriage or cart (like those drawn by horses).

See the noun used below:

Nel museo del Settecento che abbiamo visitato il mese scorso, c’era una mostra sui calessi che i nobili dell’epoca utilizzavano per spostarsi in città e in campagna. Alcuni erano talmente pieni di comfort da sembrare simili alle automobili di oggi!

In the museum dedicated to the 18th-century we visited last month, there was an exhibition on carriages nobles of the period used to use to move about the city or head out to the countryside. Some were so full of comforts that they seemed similar to today’s automobiles!

la berlina

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun, la berlina, which means sedan (or saloon in British English), a type of car usually for four to five people. The number of doors and seat configuration is dependent on the manufacturer although they typically have four doors and/or a hatchback.

See the word used below:

Ragazzi, sapete che Maria ha venduto la station wagon che aveva da quindici anni e si è comprata una nuova berlina? È spaziosa, elegantissima, blu scuro, dentro ci sono tutti i comfort e non consuma nemmeno troppa benzina come la station wagon. Anche io vorrei un’auto così!

Guys, did you know Maria sold the station wagon she had for fifteen years and bought a new sedan? It is spacious, very elegant, dark blue, inside there are all the comforts and it doesn’t use a lot of gas like the station wagon. I would like a car like that, too!


Today’s Parola del Giorno  is the verb abbaiare, which means to bark. See the verb used below in its context:

Il cane dei vicini ha abbaiato tutta la notte, così si sono accorti dei ladri che stavano entrando in casa.

The neighbors’ dog barked all night, so they noticed some thieves were coming in the house.

Hi everyone, I just wanted to give an update. First, I have had to deal with some family issues that have been huge demands on my time, so I have not been able to dedicate myself to the web site the last couple of months. Things appear to be improving on that front so I hope to be able to dedicate more time to Parola del Giorno. Second, I participated in my first academic conference this summer and that also required a considerable amount of time and attention.

Thanks for all your patience as I work through professional and personal demands.

Also, volume 3 of Le piccole guide is ready! I need to do one more small set of corrections and edits, and I will release it shortly. Volume 4 is also in the works and will be a vocabulary builder. One of the criticisms that I often received when learning Italian was that I didn’t know how to describe things beyond interessante or bello so I hope that this little guide will help to improve your arsenal of adjectives and descriptors! 🙂

lo sfollagente

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo sfollagente, which means baton.

The word literally means “people disperser” (from the verb sfollare, which means to disperse, and the noun la gente, which means people).

It is sometimes used by police to break up riots and fights. In many countries, such as the UK, the police do not carry weapons by batons.

This noun is also invariablelo sfollagente, gli sfollagente.

See the noun used below:

In Inghilterra i poliziotti non portano con sé le pistole ma hanno lo sfollagente che usano per difendersi dai criminali.

In England police officers do not carry weapons on their person but have the baton that they use to defend themselves from criminals.

blaterare (di)

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb blaterare (di), which means to blab or to blather (about something). Even though the verb is intransitive, it takes avere in compoud tenses. The past participle is blaterato. Note the placement of the stress in the present tense: blatero, blateri, blatera, etc.

Finiscila di blaterare! Se vuoi dire qualcosa, dilla in modo chiaro, cosicché possiamo capirti.

Stop blabbing! If you want to say something, say it clearly so we can understand you.

andare a genio

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression andare a genio, which means to like or to appeal to. It has an indirect construction – meaning, the thing that is being liked is the subject of the sentence while the person/people doing the liking are the indirect object (expressed with a + noun/proper noun or indirect object pronoun).

See the expression used below:

Ieri abbiamo conosciuto il nuovo ragazzo di Paola: a nessuno del gruppo è andato a genio, secondo noi è un ragazzo molto arrogante.

Yesterday, we met Paola’s new boyfriend: no one in the group liked him, we think he is a very arrogant guy.

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