What Are Some Words That Italian Has in Common With English?


Quick Answer

Some words that are used in both Italian and English are "barista," "bologna," "broccoli," "calamari" and "cappuccino." Other words shared by the English and Italian languages are "concerto," "diva," "piano," "solo" and "zero."

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"Barista" in Italian refers to a bartender or bar owner. In English, the word specifically refers to a server at a coffee shop. When an Italian speaks of Bologna, he refers to the city in northern Italy. However, the English word "bologna" refers to an inexpensive type of processed meat; the meat is similar to mortadella, a meat that originated in the Italian city of Bologna. "Broccoli" in Italian and English refers to the vegetable.

In Italian, "calamari" is the plural of "calamaro," which is the word for squid. In English, "calamari" specifically refers to squid cooked for eating, especially if fried. "Cappuccino" in English is the name of a hot espresso coffee with foaming steamed milk. While the word in Italian currently has this meaning, it originally referred to Capuchin monks; the Italians thought the drink resembled the Capuchins' cloaks.

In Italian, "concerto" is the word for a general concert. In English, the word specifically refers to a musical compisition designed for an orchestra. "Diva" in Italian used to mean "divine" and later took on the meaning of "celebrity;" the English word has the latter meaning.

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