Italian word of the day: ‘Guarito’

Let's hope we start seeing more of this word.

Italian word of the day: 'Guarito'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Today's word is one that – hopefully – you'll be needing more and more: guarito, 'recovered'.

It's the past participle of the verb guarire ('to recover, heal or get better'), which comes from an old Germanic word meaning 'to thwart' or 'to ward off'.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: The everyday precautions to take if you're in Italy

You can use guarito like an adjective to mean 'better' or 'back to health'.

Non sono ancora completamente guarito.
I'm not completely better yet.

With Italy in the grip of the coronavirus outbreak, the place you'll see guarito come up most is in the statistics about who currently has the virus: le persone guarite or simply i guariti (notice the plural endings) are people who tested positive, but have since recovered.

Sono 1,835 i pazienti malati di coronavirus in Italia, 149 i guariti, 52 i decessi.
There are 1,835 patients with coronavirus in Italy, 149 recoveries and 52 deaths.

Don't be fooled by the false friend ricoverato: while it looks like it should mean 'recovered', in fact it's the Italian for 'hospitalized'.

È stata ricoverata d'urgenza.
She was rushed to hospital.

Sono 742 le persone ricoverate con sintomi.
742 people are in hospital with symptoms.

Find The Local's list of essential coronavirus vocabulary here

Do you have an Italian phrase you'd like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.


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Italian word of the day: ‘Scarabocchio’

Can you fathom the meaning of this word?

Italian word of the day: ‘Scarabocchio’

If you haven’t yet found a proper Italian word to describe the unintelligible collection of dots, wonky lines and swirls that Italian doctors often nonchalantly passes off as a prescription, scarabocchio might do the trick.

Scarabocchio is the Italian equivalent of ‘scribble’ or ‘scrawl’ and it describes to any piece of writing or drawing whose meaning can’t be fathomed. 

Ho lasciato la lista della spesa sul tavolo!

Si, l’ho vista ma non ci ho capito niente. Era tutto uno scarabocchio…

I left the shopping list on the table!

Yes, I saw it but couldn’t understand any of it. It was all a scribble…

From a five-year-old’s abstract artworks to a colleague’s poor excuse for a handwritten note, you can use scarabocchio for pretty much anything – as long as it figures on a piece of paper. 

Though it is a bit of a mouthful (pronunciation available here), Italians love to use the word in daily conversations, especially so when it comes to mocking the unfortunate author of the scribble. 

Ti ho fatto uno schema per farti capire meglio.

Ma cos’e’ ‘sta cosa? Mi sembra proprio uno scarabocchio…

I’ve drawn a diagram to help you understand.

What on earth is this? It looks like a scrawl to me…

The word comes from the fusion of scarabeo (beetle) and the pejorative suffix -occhio (also used in ranocchio, meaning ‘ugly frog’, and marmocchio, meaning ‘bratty kid’). 

Though today’s scribbles may not resemble the shape of a beetle, they most likely did back in the days when poor handwriting skills would result in your quill creating circular blots of ink on the paper.

That’s why, to this day, Italians refer to scribbles as ‘ugly beetles’. 

Funnily enough, sgorbio, one of scarabocchio’s synonyms, also takes its name from an animal, namely the scorpion. But that’s a story for another time.

Do you have an Italian word you’d like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.