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 toc reate a fantastic or imagined architecture[10]
  • Cinquecento (Italian millecinquecento, "1500") The culture of the 16th century[11]
  • Grotesque (from Italian grottesco through French)
  • Pastiche (from Italian pasticcio through French)
  • Picturesque (from Italian pittoresco through French)
  • Quattrocento (Italian quattrocento, or millequattrocento, "1400") The culture of the 15th century[12]
  • Studio


  • Sepia (Italian: seppia, meaning "cuttlefish")
  • Sienna (Italian terra di Siena, "earth of Siena")
  • Umber (from Latin umbra, "shadow", and the region of its origin, Umbria)


  • Al dente
  • Al fresco
  • Antipasto
  • Banquet (from Italian banchetto through French)
  • Barista: From barista, "bartender". A preparer of esperesso-based coffee[13]
  • 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 candi, from zucchero sugar + Arabic قاندل qandI candied, from Persian قند qand cane sugar; ultimately from Sanskrit खुड् khanda="piece of sugar," perhaps from Dravidian.[14]
  • Cannelloni (Italian: cannellone, pl. cannelloni)
  • Cantaloupe (after the Italian village of Cantalupa through French; in Italian the fruit is simply called melone)
  • 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[15]
  • 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)[16]
  • Espresso :from espresso, "expressed", which itself derives from the English express, in the sense of "rapid"[17]
  • Fava
  • Fusilli (Italian fuso, "to spin")
  • 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: caffè latte, "milk coffee")
  • 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[18]
  • 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)
  • 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)")[19]
  • 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 sfogliatelle, "many layers")
  • 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 (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 jannes)
  • 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 means "thick 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]

  • Bank (Italian: banco or banca) [20]
  • Bankrupt (Italian: bancarotta) [21]
  • Capitalism (from Italian capitale)
  • Carat / karat (from Italian carato - from Arabic - through French) [22]
  • Cartel (through French and German, from Italian cartello, meaning "poster") [23]
  • Cash (from Italian cassa through French caisse and Provençal) [24]
  • Credit (from Italian credito through French) [25]
  • Del credere (Italian: star del credere)
  • Ducat (from Italian ducato, whose main meaning is "duchy") [26]
  • Florin (through French from Italian fiorino) [27]
  • Finance (from Italian affinare, meaning 'do something precisely' in economy)
  • Lira [28]
  • Lombard (through French, from Italian lombardo meaning an inhabitant of Lombardy) [29]
  • Mercantile (through French) [30]
  • Management (from Italian mano for "maneggiamento", meaning "hand" for 'handlement') [31]
  • Merchandise (from Italian merce)
  • Money (from Italian Moneta)
  • Post (from Italian Posta through French "Poste"[32])[33]
  • Sale (from Italian Salire, meaning "get out" merchandise)

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 (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 use this italian world 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 the first use this italian world was William Shakespeare in Macbeth. Shakespeare introduced many italian or latin words in english language)
  • 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 (Italian: bimba, m. bimbo)
  • Casanova
  • Dildo (from Italian diletto, meaning "pleasure")
  • Innamorata
  • Lothario (Italian: Lotario; however, in Italian it is a first name, but it doesn't mean "lady-killer")
  • 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[34]
  • 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")


  • Armature (through Italian plural armature in english = rebar that's short for reinforcing bar)
  • Berlinetta: From berlinetta, "little saloon". A two-seater sports car[35]
  • 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". Goodbye.[36]
  • Cognoscente (in Italian conoscitore)
  • Dilemma (in Italian means "alternativa tra due posizioni inaccettabili")
  • 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 (throught Italian plural "latrine" from the Latin "lavatrina" )
  • Lido (in Italian means "coast", usually "sandy coast")
  • Lipizzan (Italian: lipizzano)
  • Major-domo (Italian maggiordomo)
  • Mizzen (through French misaine from Italian mezzana)
  • Paparazzi (Italian paparazzi, plural of paparazzo, the name of a character in the film La Dolce Vita)
  • Poltroon (through French poltron from Italian poltrone)
  • Pronto
  • Regatta (Italian: regata)
  • Vendetta (in Italian means "vengeance")
  • Vista (in Italian means "sight")
  • Viva


  • D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary
  • Wiktionary

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. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Harper, Douglas. "candy". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Lo Zingarelli 2008.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  21. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  22. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  23. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  24. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  25. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  26. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  27. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  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. ^ Le Petit Robert
  33. ^ D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010
  34. ^ "Catenaccio" at
  35. ^ Laban, Brian. The Ultimate History of Ferrari. Bath: Parragon, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7525-8873-5.
  36. ^