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INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN WORDS

Published November 3, 2014 by Tony

 

Italian Loanwords in English

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language. To indicate the use of English words in common Italian language we say “inglesismo”, to mean Englishism or Anglicism.
The heavy penetration of “English words” in the Italian language, especially in the workplace, gives no sign of stopping. A recent study on the use of English words used by Italian companies found that the use of Anglo-Saxon’s terms has increased almost 800% over the past 8 years.
But I have wondered, what about the opposite?
After a brief search, I noticed that there are indeed a lot of Italian words used in English. Given that the Italian language is not as widespread as English, we need to take a step back in time to better understand the intrusion of these terms in English/American vocabulary.

At the end of the sixteenth century among the Queen Elizabeth Tudor’s subjects some compatriots were blamed those not for only study and made a display of their Italian knowledge, but because posing as imitators of the Italian model in behavior and  fashion, literature and painting, business  and in the art of the sword…… mindset that thereafter characterized the Anglo-Saxon way of looking at Italy and towards Italian things: admiration and contempt, acceptance and rejection, prejudice and amazement at the same time. We find a wide track of all this through the history of Anglo-Italian relations, which is made up of businesses, books, and travel.
At that time, we already find some Italian words used in English and that, over the centuries, have become common in their language, enriching their vocabulary and expressive possibilities. BANK, BANKRUPT, CASH, and RISK were terms that ultimately came from the Italian words “banca”, “banco”, “bancarotta”, “cassa” and “rischio”. Nowadays, the weight of this new dictionary may not be able to redress the balance which lately, on the other side, has a large number of Anglicism in Italian. However, I realize that we are not only  “debtors” because in any contact between different languages (as well as between human beings) the “giving” is always accompanied by the “having”, and vice versa.
The first Italian lexical borrowings in the English language belong to the economic and financial entourage, as the term DUCAT, with reference to the first golden “ducato” created by the Doge of Venice in 1284, as well as the term MANAGER derived from “maneggio” which in Italian means to train the horses.
The situation changes radically – for quantity and quality of Italianisms – when in the second half of the sixteenth century the Italian Renaissance reached England. Through the study of the Italian language gentlemen and British courtiers intended to approach a superior civilization and achieve the perfect ideal of the Renaissance man, so that the influence of language was closely related to the literary and cultural heritage, and it is easy to illustrate the presence of English Italianisms in areas where Italy is a Renaissance model of excellence:
• arts and architecture, GESSO, STUCCO, CUPOLA, DUOMO, BELVEDERE and PIAZZA;
• poetry, song and music, CANTO, MADRIGAL, SONETTO, STANZA, DUO and VIOLIN;
• military and fortifications, IMBOSCATA and TO IMBOSK, ARSENAL and RIPARE;
• mathematics and geometry, ALGEBRA, SQUADRANT and SQUADRATURE;
• trade and finance, BAZAAR, TO SALD (from “saldare”), TARIFF and TO INVEST.

Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries some contingencies bring the English’s world to turn its back to Italy: Charles I (1625-1649) married a French princess, as the interlude Puritan Commonwealth (1649-1660) could not bring Englishmen to look at Italy with favor, abut as an abhorred focus centre of a Catholic cradle and immoral Machiavellianism…. so, during the seventeenth century the Italian loanwords only involve some specific areas – such as botany and natural sciences, mathematics, geometry, and fortifications.
•    PISTOLETTO, STILETTO, CAPITANO;
•    AMOROSO, BECCO, CANAGLIA, CAPRICCIO, ESTRO, FURIOSO, GENIO, INCOGNITO, RUFFIANO, VOLPONE; CATSO!
(from cazzo), CRIMINE;
•    BERGAMOT, GRANITO, GROTTO, LIBECCIO, SCIROCCO,  VOLCANO;
•    GUGLIO, OVOLO, PILASTREL, ANTICAMERA, BALCONY, CAMPANILE, PALAZZO, PORTICO, STANZA, VILLA; BUSTO, CHIAROSCURO, INTAGLIO, MEZZOTINT, MINIATURE, MORBIDEZZA, PIETA’, PROFILE, PUTTO, SCHIZZO;
•    BURRATINE
(from “burattino”), ENTRATA, LITERATI and LETTERATO, PUNCHINELLO, ROMANZA, ROMANZO; ALLEGRO, BARITONE, CANTO, CAPRICCIO, LARGO, PIANO, PRESTO, RECITATIVE, RITORNELLO, SONATA, TRILL, VIOLINIST, VIVACE;
•    CAMBIO, TO DISCOUNT
(da “scontare”), ENTRATE, MONTE DI PIETA’, PREMIO (to mean insurance premium, from “premio di assicurazione”), LIRA, PAOLO, SCUDO;
•    GRECO, LIATICO, BRENDICE (from “brindisi”), BROCCOLI, FRITTADO
(from frittata), MORTADELLA, PASTA, POLENTA, VERMICELLI;
•    BULLETIN, CONSULTO, GIUNTA, INTRIGO, MANIFESTO, PAPESS, QUIETISM
and QUIETIST, RISGO(E) (from “risigo” or “risico”), SBIRRO, SCALDABANCO (to mean a ‘fiery preacher’), SPIRITATO ( to mean ‘driven by excessive religious zeal’).

Many of these Italianisms are now archaic or obsolete, but on that period they had their influence; if it is true that during the seventeenth century the British looked at France and not Italy as a cultural model,  it is equally true that in this century the French language acted as a mediator to spread in English other Italian loanwords, like TO ATTACK, BAGATELLE, BARRACK, CARTOON, CHARLATAN, GAZETTE, MUSKETOON, RISK, SPINET, VALISE  and VEDETTE.
This tendency vanishes in the eighteenth century, when British were by now aware to have acquired a certain cultural independence from foreign models. In regard of Italian world, this independence gradually develops thru various attitudes: an initial total denial, as if the British were ashamed of having taken Italy as model. Then the attention increases because they tried – as English travelers on the Grand Tour made –  to find
the vestiges of a glorious past thru the actual ruins.  Finally, a renewed interest for the work in Italian music and picturesque landscapes of Italian artists comes.
•     ADAGIO, ALLEGRETTO, ANDANTE, ARIA, BALLATA, CASTRATO, CONCERTO GROSSO, CONTRAPUNTIST, CRESCENDO, DUET, FAGOTTO, FALSETTO, FANTASIA, FORTE, FORTE-PIANO, FORTISSIMO, LIBRETTO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, OPERETTA, PIANISSIMO, PRIMA DONNA, SERENATA, SINFONIA, SOLFEGGIO, SOPRANO, STACCATO, TENORE, TERZETTO, TOCCATA, TUTTI, VIOLA, VIOLONCELLO, ZAMPOGNA and ZUFOLO;
•     TERRENO, TONDINO, STACCATURE (from “stuccatura”), ALFRESCO, BAMBINO, CINQUECENTO, CONTORNO, GUAZZO, TO IMPASTE, IMPASTO, PASTICCIO, PORTFOLIO, RITRATTO, SMALTO and TORSO;
•     BRIO, CICISBEO, CONVERSAZIONE, CON AMORE, IMBROGLIO, LAZZARONE, SOTTO VOCE
and VILLEGGIATURA;
•      BRECCIA, LAVA, SOLFATARA, TERRA SIENNA (from “terra di Siena”), TUFA
(from “tufo”), and VULCANIC;
•      FINOCHIO
(from “finocchio”), MARASCHINO, MINESTRA, SEMOLINA, and STAFATA (from “stufato”).

And what about the nineteenth century? Ugo Foscolo, who took refuge in London,  about Italian in England he wrote, “A lot of them study it, a few learn it, everybody presume to know it”. The interest in Italian literature is an elitist thing, for Romantic poets and Victorians….. more effective is the interests of some British who are passionate about Italian opera, or to orient themselves at least a little while traveling and living in Italy, a lifestyle that represent itself again after the collapse of the Napoleonic empire. The fact is that in the nineteenth century the Italianisms welcomed by the English language  are really a lot and more than in the past:
•    ACCELERANDO, AGITATO, A CAPPELLA, ANDANTINO, BASSET-HORN, BATTUTA, BEL CANTO, CADENZA, CANTATRICE, CAVATINA, CEMBALO, CONCERTINO, CORNETTO, CORNO, DIVA, DUETTINO, FLAUTIST, FLAUTATO, FUGATO, FURIOSO, LAMENTOSO, LEGATO, MARCATO, MARTELLATO, MOSSO, MUSICO, OBOE D’AMORE, OBOE DA CACCIA, OCARINA, ORGANETTO, PIANIST, PIZZICATO, RALLENTANDO, ROMANZA, SCHERZO, SESTET, SFORZANDO, SFORZATO, SMORZANDO, SMORZATO, VIBRATO, VIOLA DA BRACCIO, VILLOTTA;
•    ABBOZZO, AMORINO, BAROCCO, CORTILE, GRADINO, GRAFFITO, INTARSIA, INTONACO, LUNETTA, MANDORLA, REPLICA, SCENARIO, SCUOLA, SEICENTISMO, SEICENTIST, SFUMATO, STUDIO, TEMPERA, TEMPIETTO, TENEBROSO, TERRIBILITA’, TONDO, TRECENTO;
•    AGRODOLCE, CANNELLONI, GNOCCHI, GRISSINO, LASAGNE, MARASCA, RAVIOLI, RICOTTA, RISOTTO, SALAMI, SEMOLA, SEMOLETTA, SPAGHETTI, STRACCHINO, TAGLIATELLE, ZABAGLIONE, ZUCCA; ALEATICO, CHIANTI, GRAPPA, GRIGNOLINO, MALVASIA, ROSOLIO, VERNACCIA;
•    BECCACCIA, BOCCA
(referring to  volcano), BORA, FATA MORGANA, FIUMARA, LAPILLO, MACIGNO, MAREMMA, OVER-MOUNTS, RIVA, TERRA ROSSA, VOLCANELLO;
•    JETTATURA, MAESTRIA, MATTOID, REFASHIONMENT
(from “rifacimento”), SIMPATICO, VENDETTA;
•    BERSAGLIERE, CARABINIERE, CARBONARI, IMBROGLIO, IRRENDENTIST, MAFIA
and MAFIOSO, MUNICIPIO, QUIRINAL, RISORGIMENTO, SANFEDIST, SINDACO, TRIPLICE; ABBATE, CAPPA, MANTELLETTA, TRIDUO, ZUCCHETTO;
•    STORNELLO, TERZINA, FESTA, CONFETTI, DOLCE FAR NIENTE, CREDENZA, FIASCO, PADELLA, COMMENDATORE, CONTESSA, DONZELLA, RAGAZZO.

Passing from the nineteenth century to the century just ended, it is first evident that the dynamics of Anglo-Italian relations are conditioned by the increasing opportunities and ways of contacts: trade and international relations, leisure travel and migration, means transport, and mass media make easier any linguistic, literary and cultural exchange. Although the Italian spoken by immigrants and the one taught in schools in English-speaking countries have set up, in the course of the twentieth century, an opportunity for contact interlingua for hundreds of thousands of speakers, it is reasonable to conclude that a genuine Italian influence on British and American English has exerted primarily by other means and other ways, as the following list of Italianisms shows:
•    music, songs and dance: CODA, LAMENTO, SINFONIA CONCERTANTE, SINFONIETTA, SOPRANINO, SPINTO, STAGIONE (often as STAGIONE LIRICA), STILE ANTICO, STILE CONCITATO;
•   
art and architecture: BOTTEGA, BOZZETTO, FUTURISM, GIOCONDA, MODELLO, PALIOTTO, PENTIMENTO, RICORDO, SEICENTO, SETTECENTO, STUDIOLO, VEDUTA, VEDUTISTA, VERISMO; PIANO NOBILE, SALONE, SALOTTO, SOTTOPORTICO, TRAVATED (from “travata”), TRULLO;
•    natural sciences and geophysics: MAESTRALE, PONENTE (or PONENTE WIND), SALITA, SPINONE;
•    scientific and technical terms: CHROMOCENTRE, EQUICONTINUOUS, FANGO and FANGOTHERAPY, FAVISM, GIORGI (or GIORGI SYSTEM), HOLOGENESIS, ISOTACTIC, OLIGOPOD, ORTICANT, RICCI (or RICCI TENSOR), ROSASITE, SECCHI (or SECCHI’S DISC), UREOTELIC, YOTTA (from prefix y- before the number “otto”,  to mean ‘10/24’);
•     technical-industrial
terminology: FERRO-CEMENT, IMPASTO, PUNTA, TERITAL, TERRAZZO;
•    religion: AGGIORNAMENTO, PAPABILE, QUARESIMAL, ROMANITA’;
•    economics and Politics: BABY PENSIONS (from “pensioni baby”), BLACK JOB, BLACKSHIRT, BOSSISMO, DESISTENZA, DUCE, EUROTAX or TAX FOR EUROPE (from “Eurotassa”), FASCI, FASCISM, GIOVANI IMPRENDITORI, GOVERNISSIMO, GOVERNTMENT OF NATIONAL UNIT, GREENSHIRTS, HISTORIC COMPROMISE (from “compromesso storico”), LOTTIZZAZIONE, MANI PULITE/SPORCHE,   or meanings like CLEAN/DIRTY HANDS, NORD-NAZIONE, PADANIA and PADANIANS, PADRONI, PARTITOCRAZIA, POTERI FORTI, RED BRIGADES (from “Brigate Rosse”), SACRO EGOISMO, SALOTTO BUONO, SCALA MOBILE, SQUADRA, SQUADRIST, TANGENTI, TANGENTOPOLI, BRIBE CITY, BRIBESVILLE e KICKBACK CITY, TRASFORMISMO, WHITE SEMESTER, UOMO DELLA PROVVIDENZA;
•    society: AGRITURISMO, ANIMALISTA, ANTI-MAFIA, BIENNALE, CAPO (or MAFIOSO), CAPO DEI CAPI, BOSS OF BOSSES, CADAVERI ECCELLENTI, CLOSED HOUSES (from “case chiuse”), COSA NOSTRA or OUR THING, CRAVATTARI, DOLCE VITA, DON, FERRAGOSTO, GOOMBAH (to mean a ‘mafioso’), MAFIAIST e MAFIAISM, MAFIA-BUSTING, MAFIA-FIGHTERS, MAFIA-LINKED, MAFIA-RIDDEN and MAFIA-STYLE, MAXI TRIAL (from “maxi processo”), MEN OF HONOUR), OMERTA’, PAPARAZZO, PASSEGGIATA, PASTICCERIA, PENSIONE, PIZZERIA, PRINCIPE, REPENTED (to mean informer), RISTORANTE, SACRA CORONA UNITA, SCUGNIZZO, SETTIMANALI ROSA, SOVRINTENDENZA, TIFOSI, TOMBAROLO, VENTETTIST;
•    roles, behaviors, individual and social attitudes: BIMBO, FURORE, JETTATORE, MAMMISMO, NOIA, NUMERO UNO, VITA NUOVA, VITELLONI;
•    food and beverage: ABBACCHIO, AGNOLOTTI, AL DENTE, ANTIPASTO, ARAGULA (from “RUCOLA”), BEL PAESE, BRUSCHETTA, CACIUCCO, CALABRESE, CALAMARI, CALZONE, CANNOLI, CAPRETTO, CARBONE DOLCE, CARPACCIO, CASSATA, CIABATTA, CORNETTO, COSTATA ALLA FIORENTINA, CROSTINI, FETTUCCINE, FRITTATA, FRITTO DI MARE o FRITTO MISTO, FRITTURA, FUSILLI, GUANCIALE, LINGUINE, MACEDONIA DI FRUTTA, MANICOTTI, MARINARA, MASCARPONE o MASCHERPONE, MOZZARELLA, MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA, OSSO BUCO, PANCETTA, PANETTONE, PANFORTE, PARMIGIANO, PECORINO, PENNE, PESTO, PEPPERONI (or PEPERONI), PINZIMONIO, PIZZA, PORCHETTA, PROSCIUTTO (or PROSCIUTTO HAM), PROVOLONE, RADICCHIO, RIGATONI, ROMANO (or ROMANO CHEESE), SALTIMBOCCA, SANGUINACCIO, SCALLOPINI (or SCALOPPINE), SCAMPI, SCUNGILLE (from Neapolitan “scunciglio”), SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA and ALLA CARBONARA, SPAGHETTINI, SPUMONI (from “spumone”), STELLINE, STRACCIATELLA, TALEGGIO, TIRAMISU, TORTELLINI, VITELLO TONNATO, ZABAGLIONE, ZEPPOLE, ZITONI, ZUCCHINI, ZUPPA, ZUPPA INGLESE, and the saying MMEDITERRANEAN DIET; AMARETTO, BERBERA, BAROLO, CAPPUCCINO, DOLCETTO D’ALBA, ESPRESSO, FRASCATI, LAMBRUSCO, LUNGO e MACCHIATO (referring to the coffee), MOSCATO, NEGRONI, MARTINI, PROSECCO, PUNT E MES, RICCADONNA, SAMBUCA, SASSELLA, SOAVE, SPUMANTE, STREGA, VERDICCHIO, VIN SANTO, VINO DA TAVOLA, and the saying DENOMINATION OF PROTECTED ORIGIN;
•    various words ARRIVEDERCI, AUTOSTRADA, AZZURRI, BALLERINA (or BALLERINA SHOE), CANTINA, CIAO, FATTORIA, FRECCE TRICOLORI, GALLERIA (to mean a place with many shops, “galleria di negozi”), GROSSO MODO, LIBERO  (from soccer technique), MANCIA, MEZZOGIORNO, MILLE MIGLIA, PICCOLO, PINOCCHIO, RIONE, SALUMERIA, SCOPA, SCUDETTO, SCUOLA MEDIA, SCUSI, (LA) SERENISSIMA, SPAGHETTI WESTERN, SPREZZATURA, STRAMBOTTO, SUFFIXOID,  TELEFONINO, VESPA, CINEMA.

  This is a partial list of known or supposed Italian loanwords in English, but if you wanna know more take a look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Italian_origin
But, if we take as reference the ancestor of the Italian language, the LATIN, and old widespread language, then the loanwords increase dramatically, especially in medicine, religion and art (as the sayings: posteriori, a priori, ad infinitum, carpe diem, casus belli, de facto, de jure, et cetera, ex parte, habitat, in camera, in medias res, ipse dixit, lingua franca, memento, non plus ultra, pax, persona (non) grata, per capita,  post partum, pro forma, sine die, sine qua non, sui generis, summa cum laude, tabula rasa.) Read this page to know more: http://www.liceovittorioemanuele.it/download/accardo/accardo.htm

 

 

Reference:www.treccani.it/magazine/lingua_italiana/speciali/nazioni/iamartino.html.

HUMAN VESTIGIALITY

Published March 14, 2013 by Tony

HUMAN BODY EVOLUTION
11 USELESS ORGANS

From the time of prehistoric man on, the human body has evolved continuously and adapted significantly, and today only a few biological traces of our prehistoric ancestors remains in us which, despite almost without any use, are still part of our body. In the context of human evolution, human vestigiality involves characters, such as organs or behaviors, occurring in the human species that are considered vestigial, in other words having lost all or most of their original function through evolution.
Here’s the main ones.

plica semilunaris11. Plica semilunaris
In the inner part of the eye, the two eyelids form a small indentation called “inner canthus”, occupied by a small red protuberance, the “caruncula lachrymalis”, just external to the small and vertical fold of conjunctiva (that we can see), called “plica semilunaris.” This small fold of tissue near the tear duct, is a vestigial remnant of the nictitating membrane (persisting through evolution) which is drawn across the eye for protection, but performing no function in man. Despite reduced in humans, it represents a third eyelid present and fully functional in many  animals such as birds, reptiles, and fish.

prehistoric man10. Body Hair
Without a doubt, once human being was much more hairy. Up to about 3 million years ago, our body was almost completely covered by hair. Since “Homo erectus” onwards, the different capacity of perspiration (through a better body thermo- regulation) slowly led body to lose hair, now useless.

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paranasal_sinuses09. Paranasal sinuses
These are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity above the eyes and present in a variety of animals. The human biological role of the sinuses is debated, but a number of possible functions have been proposed among which increasing resonance of the voice or providing a buffer against blows to the face.

Adenoids08. Adenoids
They are a mass of lymphatic tissue situated posterior to the nasal cavity whose function is to be a trap for bacteria, and for this prone to hypertrophy and infection. Normally, in children the adenoids are bigger, often removed to avoid constant infections and  lack of airflow, though their size reduce with age. Useful to protect prehistoric man, over time this gland has lost importance for the improved hygienic conditions of life.

tonsil07. Tonsils
The term most commonly refers specifically to the mass of lymphatic material situated at either side at the back of the human throat. They represents the immune system’s first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens, and because of this tonsillitis are very frequent during youth, obliging their surgical removal. However, the fundamental immunological roles of tonsils have yet to be understood. Tonsils tend to reach their largest size near puberty, and they gradually undergo atrophy thereafter. As for the adenoid, their presence is not indispensable.

coccyx06. Coccyx
The tailbone or coccyx is the remnant of a lost tail. All mammals have a tail at one point in their development; in humans it only is present for a period of 4 weeks, during embryogenesis. The coccyx, located at the end of the spine, has lost its original function in assisting balance and mobility when it was a real tail.

muscles of the auricula05. Erector muscle of hairs / muscles of the auricula.
Diverse muscles in the human body are thought to be vestigial, either by virtue of being greatly reduced in size compared to homologous muscles in other species, by having become principally tendonous, or by being highly variable in their frequency within or between populations. Humans and other primates however have ear muscles that are minimally developed and non-functional, yet still large enough to be identifiable. Among them the arrectores pilorum, and the muscles of the auricula. The Erector muscle of hairs are small muscles attached to hair follicles in mammals whose contraction causes the hairs to stand on end – known colloquially as goose bumps. Useful in many animals, they have lost their utility for humans. Humans and other primates have ear muscles that are minimally developed and non-functional which in other animals give, for instance, the chance to move the ears in various directions.

wisdom Teeth04. Wisdom teeth
These teeth are vestigial (third) molars that human ancestors used to help in grinding down plant tissue. The skulls of human ancestors had larger jaws with more teeth, used to help chew down foliage and compensate the lack of ability to digest the cellulose. As human diets changed, smaller jaws were naturally selected, but the third molars, or “wisdom teeth,” still commonly develop in our mouths. Currently, wisdom teeth have become useless and even harmful to the extent where surgical procedures are often done to remove them.

appendix03. Appendix
The vermiform appendix is a vestige of a small organ that in ancestral species had digestive functions. Darwin argued that it was helpful to digestion during the years in which primitive man ate more plants and vegetables, rich in starch. Therefore, its usefulness is diminished with the evolution, when we started eating more digestible foods.

hymen02. Hymen
It is to say the membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. Some scientists view the function of hymen in young girls as a protective membrane that protects the reproductive system from infection in the embryonic period and protect the fertility of young girls before mating. Anyhow, this is another organ of which human being wouldn’t feel the lack.

nipples01. Male Nipples
In the anatomy of mammals, a nipple, is a mammary papilla whose physiological purpose is to deliver milk to the infant, produced in the female mammary glands during lactation. The presence of nipples in male mammals is a genetic architectural by-product of nipples in females, best explained as a genetic correlation that over time persists through lack of a better or different evolution of the male.

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