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Italian word of the day: 'Caspita'

Jessica Phelan
Jessica Phelan - [email protected]
Italian word of the day: 'Caspita'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Gosh, this is a fun word to say.


Today's word was suggested by one of our readers, who tells us: "Every time I hear the word caspita I smile."

We're inclined to agree. Caspita! Caspita! CASPITA! Try it - here's how it's pronounced.

Fun to say (or shout), but what does it mean? Put very simply: 'gosh'. 

Like that word, caspita is a polite euphemism for a stronger term. Along with cavolo, it stands in for cazzo – 'dick' or 'shit'.

And just like when you say 'gosh', 'golly' or 'gee' instead of 'God' or 'Jesus', by today's standards it sounds very mild, even twee.

But we think it's rather charming. And undeniably versatile: according to the dictionary, caspita can express "wonder, sometimes impatience and mild resentment".

So whether you're delighted, disappointed or just surprised, caspita is an exclamation you can use without fear of giving anyone offence.

Caspita, che bel panorama!
Gosh, what a beautiful view!

Caspita, stai attento a quel che fai!
For goodness' sake, pay attention to what you’re doing!

Enjoy the dulcet tones of Toto Cutugno (better known for L'Italiano) singing his minor hit Caspita, about a summer romance. 

There are few variations: if you're feeling adventurous you can go for caspiterina, which means just the same but takes a little longer to say; or you can add e che... beforehand for an exasperated touch. 


Che caspita di... means 'what a...', while col caspita is something like 'my foot!' or 'like hell!' – a defiant way of contradicting what's just been said.

Che caspita di prezzi!
What a price! (or: how expensive)

Ci vengo? Col cazzo.
Am I coming? Like hell I am.

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