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Italian word of the day: ‘Farneticare’

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
Italian word of the day: ‘Farneticare’
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Here’s a useful word for when someone isn’t making any sense.


We’ve all witnessed a friend or family member talking a load of rubbish once or twice.

And while the English language has no shortage of verbs suited to people talking nonsense – rave, gabble, babble, waffle and so on – Italian speakers also have some aces up their sleeves when it comes to describing insufferable piffle. 

One of the most common Italian verbs referring to the (very ignoble) art of talking rubbish is farneticare (pronunciation available here).

Granted, the word might be a bit of a mouthful at first, but keeping in mind that the accent falls on the last ‘a’ will help you get it right sooner rather than later. 

Italians use the verb in a variety of ways, but the most popular construction is the following: 

Ma cosa stai farneticando?!

What the hell are you talking about?!

If you’re planning on using the verb this way, you should remember that the more disgusted you’ll sound when uttering the question, the more impact it’ll likely have. 


But, if you’re looking for a construction leaning less towards anger and/or disgust and more towards disappointment or frustration, you may want to use the following: 

Mamma mia, stai proprio farneticando…

My god, you really are raving…

Alternatively, if you want to tell someone that what they’re saying is absurd but don’t want to be too harsh on them, you might use a sentence like this:

Ma perché devi farneticare?

Why are you talking nonsense?

This kind of conveys the message that whoever is doing the rambling is capable of saying sensible things, though he’s choosing not to do so at that precise moment in time.


That said, regardless of how it is used, farneticare is a fairly strong word and, if used in the wrong place and at the wrong time, it may land you in trouble. 

So it's advisable to use it with caution and, if possible, only with people you know fairly well.

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