Every once in a while I thought it would be fun to feature a single Italian word of the day and list associated phrases and vocabulary in a sort of themed Italian language post.
There are many language blogs which will give you heaps of Italian verbs and words to study but the idea of grouping things together into a theme seems so interesting.
Since I’ve been talking so much about food and drink lately I’ll start with the verb Mangiare [man-già-re] or to eat which is actually associated with many colourful words and popular sayings and colloquial phrases of the Italian lexicon.
Food and eating are probably the two most important things in Italy as they are at the centre of everyday life, socialising, traditions and culture.
Some associated words with eating are:
Masticare [ma-sti-cà-re]: to chew
Digerire [di-ge-rì-re]: to digest
Deglutire [de-glu-tì-re]: to swallow
Inghiottire [in-ghiot-tì-re]: to gulp
Consumare [con-su-mà-re]: to consume
The most used phrases to feature the word mangiare include:
Mangiare in bianco: literally to eat in white. If someone is on a diet or has had some kind of ailment of the digestive system they will eat lightly and simply with no salt or other condiments. Someone who is eating ‘in bianco’ will usually eat something like pastina or pasta with oil until they feel better.
Mangiare pesante: in contrast to eating in white, eating heavy is about overindulging. Usually eating too much or heavily includes consuming too much deep fried or fatty meals and leads to having to eat ‘in bianco’ for a while!
Mangiare la foglia: literally it reads to eat a leaf. But figuratively it means to become aware of a trick or a scam.
Mangiarsi il fegato: to eat your own kidney is to be consumed by anger.
Mangiarsi le mani: eating your hands means to regete something you did.
Mangiarsi la parola: is literally to eat your own word or to break a promise or change your opinion or point of view in a contradictory way.
Mangiarsi le parole: turning part of the phrase into a plural changes the meaning completely. Someone who eats their words is someone who doesn’t annunciate their words or speak clearly and is considered a major speech impediment.
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