lo zozzone

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo zozzone, which means slob or a foul person.

It can also be used to describe the moral qualities of a person and not just their cleanliness.

This noun comes from the Roman dialect; you might also hear the word il sozzone in other parts of Italy.

See the noun used below:

Quando ero piccolo e non mi volevo lavare le mani prima di mangiare, mia nonna mi diceva che ero uno zozzone e che le mani vanno sempre lavate.

When I was little and didn’t want to wash my hands before eating, my grandmother used to tell me that I was a slob and that my hands should always be washed.


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb sbafare, which means to gobble up or to polish something off, with reference to food.

This verb is onomatopoeic; it has its roots in the sound one makes when gobbling up food.

See the verb used below:

Non so come faccia Claudio! È riuscito a sbafare la cena ai suoi colleghi di lavoro con la scusa che aveva lasciato il portafoglio a casa.

I don’t now how Claudio does it! He was able to gobble up his dinner at his coworker’s place with the excuse that he had left his wallet at home.

esserci un tempo da lupi

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression esserci un tempo da lupi. It is used with the  verb esserci (c’è) and translates to There’s terrible/foul weather out

In Italian, wolves are often used to things that are hostile or difficult, such as climate, weather, or places.

See the expression used below:

Il fine settimana scorso c’era un tempo da lupi: nevicava e tirava un vento incredibile. Ho preferito non uscire e starmene a casa al caldo!

Last weekend there was terrible weather out: it was snowing, and the wind was blowing hard. I preferred not to go out and stayed home in the heat!

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! 🙂

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