Salumi is not a term often heard outside of Italy, yet many of these products are found in specialty shops or Italian delicatessens and are used by cooks all over the world. Some, like prosciutto, need no introduction while others are not usually seen outside their motherland.
Hello folk! Are you up for a little Italian challenge? See how many of these you can get right!
Beware these are false friends and are here to catch you out!
1) Caldo means:
A) Roast B) Cold C) Hot
2) Camera means:
A) Sunroom B) Room C) Camera
3) Casino means:
A) Casino B) Small house C) Mess
4) Preservativo means:
A) Embankment B) Preservative
5) Confetti means:
A) Confetti B) Chickpeas C) Sugar coated almonds
So, as I am sure you all know, Ciao means “Hello/Hi” or "Goodbye". It is possibly the most known and most used Italian word. But do you know its origin? Likely not, and it is quite interesting.
So the origin of Ciao is from the Venetian dialect/language word “sciavo”, which means “slave”, which in turns comes from thev Latin “Slavus” — which by the way is also the word/adjective used even today, Slavo, to indicate Slavic people. So, during the peak of the Venetian Republic in the 1400s, when Venice ruled most of the commerce in the World, most slaves were, well, Slavic.
In short, the origin of the greeting is an extreme form of submission to the person you run into: it mean something like “at your service”. With centuries of usage, Sciavo became Sciao and the latter became Ciao. Needless to say that the racial and social connotation of the word Ciao have long been lost
How To Say: Words of Endearment in Italian
Italians are warm and friendly people who like to express their affection and often use terms of endearment when talking to their family and friends and to children; often, they will use affectionate nicknames, like caro/a or bello/a, even with someone they don’t know well.
Here are some of the most common:
Caro/cara - dear
Tesoro – darling (translates literally to ‘treasure’)
Amore – love
Stella/stellina – literally, ‘star’
Gioia – literally, ‘joy’
Angelo – angel, to express gratitude, i.e. grazie per l’aiuto, sei un angelo – thanks for your help, you’re an angel.
Note that most of the following are especially used with children and between boyfriend and girlfriend:
Piccolo/a - Piccolino/a – little one
Tato/a – no meaning
Cucciolo/a – literally, ‘puppy’
Passerotto/a – literally, 'sparrow chick', used especially with and to refer to children, i.e. come stanno i passerotti? How are the kids?
Patatino/a – little potato
Topolino/a - little mouse