List of English words of Italian origin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a partial list of known or supposed Italian loanwords in English. A separate list of terms used in music can be found at List of Italian musical terms used in English:


Art and architecture[edit]

Literature and language[edit]

Theatre and dramatic arts[edit]

Arts in general and aesthetics[edit]

  • Burlesque (from Italian burlesco through French)
  • Capriccio: From capriccio 'sudden motion'. In music, a free composition; in art, a juxtaposing of elements to create a fantastic or imagined architecture[11]
  • Cinquecento (Italian Cinquecento from millecinquecento '1500') The culture of the 16th century[12]
  • Grotesque (from Italian grottesco through French)
  • Pastiche (from Italian pasticcio through French)
  • Picturesque (from Italian pittoresco through French)
  • Quattrocento (Italian Quattrocento from millequattrocento '1400') The culture of the 15th century[13]
  • Studio



  • Al dente
  • Al fresco
  • Antipasto
  • Artichoke (from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of Old Italian arcicioffo)[16]
  • Baguette (through French baguette from Italian bacchetta)[17][18]
  • Banquet (from Italian banchetto through French)
  • Barista (from barista 'bartender'. A preparer of espresso-based coffee)[19]
  • Bergamot (Italian: bergamotto)
  • Biscuit (through French from Italian biscotto, meaning 'cooked twice')
  • Bologna (after the Italian city)
  • Bruschetta
  • Broccoli (Italian: broccolo, pl. broccoli)
  • Candy (from Middle English sugre candy, part translation of Middle French sucre candi, from Old French çucre candi, part translation of Italian zucchero candito, from zucchero sugar + Arabic قاندل qandI candied, from Persian قند qand cane sugar; ultimately from Sanskrit खुड् khanda 'piece of sugar', perhaps from Dravidian)[20]
  • Cannelloni (Italian: cannellone, pl. cannelloni)
  • Cantaloupe (after the Italian village of Cantalupo in Sabina through French; in Italian the fruit is simply called melone or Cantalupo)
  • Cappuccino (from cappuccino 'little hood' or 'Capuchin'. A reference to the similarity between the drink's colour and that of the brown hoods of Capuchin friars)[21]
  • Cauliflower (originally cole florye, from Italian cavolfiore meaning 'flowered cabbage'[22]
  • Chianti
  • Chipolata (from Italian cipolla, meaning 'onion')
  • Ciabatta (whose Italian basic meaning is 'slipper')
  • Coffee (from Italian caffè, from Turkish kahveh, and Arabic qahwah, perhaps from Kaffa region of Ethiopia, a home of the plant)[23]
  • Espresso (from espresso 'expressed')
  • Fava
  • Frascati
  • Fusilli (Italian: fusillo, pl. fusilli; a derivative form of the word fuso, meaning 'spindle')
  • Gelatine (from Italian gelatina through French)
  • Gnocchi (Italian: gnocco, pl. gnocchi)
  • Gorgonzola (after the village near Milan)
  • Granita
  • Grappa
  • Gusto
  • Lasagne (Italian: lasagna, pl. lasagne)
  • Latte or caffè latte (Italian: caffellatte or caffè e latte 'coffee and milk')
  • Latte macchiato (Italian latte macchiato 'stained milk')
  • Macaroni (Italian maccherone, pl. maccheroni)
  • Macchiato or "caffè macchiato" (from macchiato 'stained', espresso coffee with a small dash of milk)[24]
  • Maraschino
  • Marinate (Italian: marinare)
  • Marzipan (through German from Italian marzapane)
  • Martini cocktail (named after the famous brand of vermouth)
  • Minestrone
  • Mozzarella (from Italian mozzare 'to cut')
  • Muscat (through French from Italian moscato)
  • Orange (through French from Italian arancia, from Arabic naranj)[25][26]
  • Panini (Italian: panino, pl. panini)
  • Parmesan (through French from Italian parmigiano, meaning 'from the city of Parma')
  • Pasta
  • Pepperoni (from Italian peperone, pl. peperoni, meaning 'bell pepper')
  • Pesto (from Italian pestare 'to crush (with mortar and pestle)')[27]
  • Pistachio (Italian: pistacchio)
  • Pizza
  • Pizzeria
  • Polenta
  • Provolone
  • Radicchio
  • Ravioli
  • Risotto
  • Salami (Italian: salame, pl. salami)
  • Salumi (Italian pl. of salume 'salted meat')
  • Scampi (Italian: scampo, pl. scampi)
  • Semolina (Italian: semolino)
  • Sfogliatelle (Italian sfogliatella, pl. sfogliatelle; from sfoglia 'thin layer')
  • Sorbet (through French from Italian sorbetto, which in turn comes from Turkish, Persian and Arabic)
  • Spaghetti (Italian: spaghetto, pl. spaghetti)
  • Spumoni (Italian: spumone, pl. spumoni)
  • Sultana (in Italian is the female of 'sultan'; the grape is called sultanina)
  • Tagliatelle (from Italian tagliare 'to cut')
  • Tortellini (Italian tortellino, pl. tortellini)
  • Trattoria
  • Tutti frutti
  • Vermicelli
  • Vino
  • Zucchini (Italian: zucchina, pl. zucchine)

Clothes, accessories, furniture[edit]

  • Baldachin (from Italian baldacchino; Baldacco is an old Italian name for Baghdad)
  • Brocade (from Italian broccato through Spanish)
  • Costume (through French)
  • Jeans (after the city of Genoa through French Gênes)
  • Muslin (through French mousseline from Italian mussolina after the city of Mosul)
  • Organza (after the city of Urgenč)
  • Parasol (from Italian parasole through French)
  • Stiletto (in Italian it means 'little stylus' and refers to a type of thin, needle-pointed dagger, while the shoes are called tacchi a spillo, literally 'needle heels')
  • Umbrella (from Italian ombrello)
  • Valise (from Italian valigia through French)

Geography and geology[edit]

Some toponym of Latin, Greek, Slavic or Arabic origin referring to non-Italian places entered English through Italian:

territories named after Italian explorers:

Commerce and finance[edit]

Military and weaponry[edit]

  • Arsenal (Italian arsenale, from Arabic)
  • Brigade (through French from Italian brigata)
  • Brigand (through French from Italian brigante)
  • Cannon (through French from Italian cannone)
  • Cavalier (from Italian cavaliere)
  • Cavalry (through French cavalerie from Italian cavalleria)
  • Catapult (through Latin catapulta from Italian catapulta)
  • Citadel (through French citadelle from Italian cittadella)
  • Colonel (through French from Italian colonnello)
  • Condottieri (Italian condottiero, pl. condottieri)
  • Infantry (through French infanterie from Italian infanteria, Modern Italian: fanteria)
  • Generalissimo
  • Salvo (Italian salva)
  • Scimitar (through Italian scimitarra from ancient Persian shamshir)
  • Stiletto (Italian stiletto 'little stylus', an engraving tool)
  • Stratagem (through French stratagème from Italian stratagemma, in its turn from Latin and Greek)
  • Venture (Italian ventura)

Crime and immorality[edit]

  • Assassination (from Italian assassinio. The first to use this Italian word was William Shakespeare in Macbeth. Shakespeare introduced a lot of Italian or Latin words in English language. Assassin and assassination derive from the word hashshashin (Arabic: حشّاشين, ħashshāshīyīn, also hashishin, hashashiyyin, means Assassins), and shares its etymological roots with hashish. It referred to a group of Nizari Shia Persians who worked against various Arab and Persian targets.
  • Assassin (from Italian assassino)
  • Bandit (from Italian bandito)
  • Bordello
  • Casino (in Italian means 'hunting cottage' or 'brothel', and – figuratively – 'mess' or 'a lot')
  • Charlatan (through French from Italian ciarlatano)
  • Cosa nostra
  • Mafia and mafioso


Love and sex[edit]

  • Bimbo (from Italian bimbo 'child')
  • Casanova
  • Dildo (from Italian diletto, meaning 'pleasure')
  • Inamorata (from Italian innamorata, a female lover)
  • Ruffian (Italian: m. ruffiano, f. ruffiana)

Science and nature[edit]

words after Italian scientist names:

Religion, rituals, holidays[edit]

Games and sports[edit]

  • Catenaccio (from catenaccio 'door-bolt', a defensive tactic in association football)[42]
  • Curva (a curved stadium grandstand)
  • Fianchetto (Italian fianchetto 'little flank', a chess tactic)
  • Lottery (Italian: lotteria)
  • Tarot (through French) and taroc (Italian tarocco)
  • Tifo (literally meaning 'typhus') and tifosi (from Italian tifosi 'sports fans', 'supporters')
  • Tombola
  • Zona mista (literally meaning 'mixed zone'; often referred to as "Gioco all'italiana" or "The Game in the Italian style")
  • Libero (from Italian libero 'free', a defensive specialist posit position in modern volleyball)


  • Antenna
  • Armature (through Italian plural armature singular armatura, in English rebar, short for reinforcing bar)
  • Berlinetta (from berlinetta 'little saloon', a two-seater sports car)[43]
  • Bravado (through French bravade from Italian bravata)
  • Brave (through French from Italian bravo)
  • Capisci ('understand', second-person imperative form of capire, often misspelled kapish, or kapeesh)
  • Ciao (from ciao, an informal greeting or valediction, originally from Venetian sciavo '(your humble) servant'[44]
  • de)
  • Cognoscente (from Italian conoscente, Italian: conoscitore)
  • Dilemma (Italian dilemma from Greek dilemmaton)
  • Dilettante (in Italian means 'amateur')
  • Ditto
  • Genoa after the city
  • Gonzo (in Italian means 'simpleton', 'diddled')
  • Humanist (through French from Italian umanista)
  • Inferno (in Italian means 'hell')
  • Latrine (through Italian plural latrine from Latin lavatrina)
  • Lido (in Italian means 'coast', usually 'sandy coast')
  • Lipizzan (Italian: lipizzano)
  • Major-domo (Italian: maggiordomo)
  • Mizzen (through French misaine from Italian mezzana)
  • Nostalgia (with the same meaning in Italian)
  • Paparazzi (Italian paparazzi, plural of paparazzo, the name of a character in the film La Dolce Vita)
  • Pococurante (from poco 'little' and curante 'caring')
  • Poltroon (through French poltron from Italian poltrona)
  • Pronto
  • Regatta (Italian: regata)
  • Vendetta (in Italian means 'vengeance')
  • Vista (in Italian means 'sight')
  • Viva


  • D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Harper Collins, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  2. ^ "Chiaroscuro | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  3. ^ "Canto | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  4. ^, Lexico Triantaphyllide online dictionary, Greek Language Center (Kentro Hellenikes Glossas), lemma Franc ( Φράγκος Phrankos), Lexico tes Neas Hellenikes Glossas, G.Babiniotes, Kentro Lexikologias(Legicology Center) LTD Publications, ISBN 960-86190-1-7, lemma Franc and (prefix) franco- (Φράγκος Phrankos and φράγκο- phranko-).
  5. ^ Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary (2001)
  6. ^ "Oxford Languages | the Home of Language Data". Archived from the original on May 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "World Wide Words: Rodomontade".
  8. ^ "Cantastoria: Centuries-Old Performance Style Making a Comeback", The L Magazine. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2013
  9. ^ "Mask (noun)". Etymology Online.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Capriccio | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  12. ^ "Cinquecento | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  13. ^ "Quattrocento | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  14. ^ "Orange | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  15. ^ "Magenta | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  16. ^ "Artichoke | Origin and meaning of artichoke by Online Etymology Dictionary".
  17. ^ "BAGUETTE : Etymologie de BAGUETTE".
  18. ^ "Baguette | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  19. ^ "Barista | Origin and meaning of barista by Online Etymology Dictionary".
  20. ^ Harper, Douglas. "candy". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  21. ^ "Cappuccino | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  22. ^ "Cauliflower | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  23. ^ "Coffee | Origin and meaning of coffee by Online Etymology Dictionary".
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Orange | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  26. ^ "orange n.1 and adj.1". Oxford English Dictionary online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-30.(subscription required)
  27. ^ "Pesto | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  28. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  29. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  30. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  31. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  32. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  33. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  34. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  35. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  36. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  37. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  38. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  39. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  40. ^ Le Petit Robert
  41. ^ "Manganese | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
  42. ^ "Catenaccio" at
  43. ^ Laban, Brian. The Ultimate History of Ferrari. Bath: Parragon, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7525-8873-5.
  44. ^ "Ciao | Search Online Etymology Dictionary".