List of English words of Italian origin

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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]

  • Archipelago (through Italian arcipelago, from Greek "arkhipélagos")
  • Lagoon (Italian: laguna)
  • Littoral (Italian: litorale)
  • Marina (from Italian "mare", "sea")
  • Riviera (from Italian "riviera", coming from Latin ripa, "coastline")
  • Sirocco (Italian: scirocco, from Arabic)
  • Terra rossa

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]

  • Bank (Italian: banco or banca) [28]
  • Bankrupt (Italian: bancarotta) [29]
  • Capitalism (from Italian capitale)
  • Carat / karat (from Italian carato – from Arabic – through French) [30]
  • Cartel (through French and German, from Italian cartello, meaning "poster") [31]
  • Cash (from Italian cassa through French caisse and Provençal) [32]
  • Credit (from Italian credito through French) [33]
  • Del credere (Italian: star del credere)
  • Ducat (from Italian ducato, whose main meaning is "duchy") [34]
  • Florin (through French from Italian fiorino) [35]
  • Finance (from Italian affinare, meaning 'do something precisely' in economy)
  • Lira[36]
  • Lombard (through French, from Italian lombardo meaning an inhabitant of Lombardy or also Northern Italy) [37]
  • Mercantile (through French) [38]
  • Management (from Italian mano for "maneggiamento", meaning "hand" for 'handlement') [39]
  • Merchandise (from Italian merce)
  • Money (from Italian Moneta)
  • Post (from Italian Posta through French "Poste"[40])

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 (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 to 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 (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 and Tifosi (literally meaning "typhus"; 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


  • 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", often misspelled kapish, or kapeesh)
  • Ciao: From ciao, an informal greeting or valediction, originally from Venetian sciavo, "(your humble) servant"[44]
  • Cicerone (tourist guide)
  • Cognoscente (in 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. ^
  3. ^
  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. ^
  7. ^
  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. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Harper, Douglas. "candy". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "orange n.1 and adj.1". Oxford English Dictionary online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-30.(subscription required)
  27. ^
  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. ^
  42. ^ "Catenaccio" at
  43. ^ Laban, Brian. The Ultimate History of Ferrari. Bath: Parragon, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7525-8873-5.
  44. ^