Parola del Giorno #4 – ino
And now onto the fun suffixes that have proven to be crucial for the expansion of my Italian vocabulary:
Parola del Giorno #4: the little “-ino” or “-etto”
Think about the English use of “-y” or “-ie” to make something small, young or cute…as in “it was an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie yellow polka dot bikini.” But imagine a situation where you could add that “-y” suffix to any word and not sound like a mother blubbering over her child in that affectionate, yet somewhat gag-worthy, “wuvey-dovey” way.
Enter the Italian -ino or -etto. Two diminutive suffixes that serve as perfectly rational, grammatically correct ways to make an object smaller in size or age. And best of all, you don’t sound like a fool when you use them!
- My roommates pay much more for their rooms as I have the cameretta – the small room – in our apartment.
- Despite the fact that my mammina – little mamma – is 5’1″ on a good day, I am 5’9″ and tower over most Romans (the height comes from my father’s side).
- When going to my boyfriend’s house, I take the trenino – the little train – which is used by commuters to get from the city center to the surrounding suburbs. (and yes, it’s official. Despite my best efforts, I’ve fallen victim to the classic story of an Italian stealing my heart)
So enough with the baby talk already. Instead of piggy-wiggy or doggy-woggy, a simple pig-ino or dog-ino will suffice. Or if the “pig” in question is a reference to the toe of a child, let’s just call it a toe-etto.
Poopino 😉 I remember this lesson.
May 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm
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