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Italian word of the day: 'Sbalordito'

The Local Italy
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Italian word of the day: 'Sbalordito'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond"

This one's a knock out.


When was the last time you were blown away, gobsmacked, astounded?

If you wanted to express your emotional state in Italian, you could say that you were sbalordito.

It's related to the word balordo, which means fool, or idiot. Effectively, it's to be struck so hard by something - physically or figuratively - that you're stupefied.

Sbalordito is almost always used in the metaphorical sense, and it's often a positive thing:

Siamo rimaste sbalordite dalle viste.
We were amazed by the views.

Il violinista ha sbalordito il pubblico.
The violinist blew the audience away.

However, it can be more neutral, meaning shocked, stunned, or bewildered:

Sono rimasta sbalordita da quello che mi ha detto Alessandro stamattina.
I was flabbergasted by what Alessandro told me this morning.

La notizia che suo figlio aveva lasciato l'università lo ha sbalordito.
The news that his son had dropped out of university stunned him.


Rarely, sbalordire can literally mean to knock someone unconscious:

Lo ha sbalordito con un solo pugno.
He knocked him out with just one punch.

Let's just hope the next time you're sbalordito, you're not left with an actual concussion.

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