Italian word of the day: 'Cotto'

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

Try not to get too hot and bothered about this word...


Literally, the Italian adjective cotto/a means cooked or baked, which is where we get familiar words like terracotta ('baked earth') and panna cotta ('cooked cream').

But it also has another common slang meaning (and not the one that might immediately jump to the mind of an anglophone...).

Essere cotto/a is to be smitten or infatuated with someone, to have a big crush on them.

È ovvio che sei cotta di Paolo.
It's obvious you're infatuated with Paolo.

Trash Italiano Grande Fratello GIF - Trash Italiano Grande Fratello Grande Fratello Vip GIFs

The sentence doesn't necessarily need an object - someone can simply be cotto/a without the need to specify the object of their desires - but if there is an object, it should be preceded by the preposition di.

Ve lo dico, sono cotto.
I'm telling you, I'm smitten.

Ero cotta di te a scuola.
I had a crush on you at school.

Le ragazze sono cotte del nuovo vicino.
The girls have a crush on the new neighbour.

If you want to add emphasis, you can use the slightly more poetic (and less common) innamorato/a cotto/a: head over heels, or desperately in love.


Non la tradirebbe mai, ne è innamorato cotto.
He would never cheat, he's madly in love with her.

Senti, Alba ha già un ragazzo di cui è innamorata cotta.
Listen, Alba already has a boyfriend she's crazy about.

Will Ferrell Crush GIF by filmeditor

Cotta, with an 'a', isn't necessarily an adjective; you might also see it used as a noun, meaning crush. Just like in English, you hai (from avere) una cotta, or 'have a crush'; the relevant preposition now becomes 'per'.

Aveva una cotta per lei fin dall'inizio.
She had thing for her from the very beginning.

Ho una cotta pazzesca per lui.
I have a huge crush on him.


And your first crush is your prima cotta.

Sarai per sempre la sua prima cotta.
You'll always be his first crush.

Parlami della tua prima cotta.
Tell me about your first crush.

Now whether you want to tease your friends or declare your true feelings to the object of your desire, you'll be ready!

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



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