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Italian word of the day: 'Scorpacciata'

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

You'll have had your fill of this word by the time we're through.


If there's one thing Italy's known for, it's food - and when you have access to real Italian cooking, it's only natural to want to make the most of it and treat yourself on occasion to a feast, a blowout, even a binge: a scorpacciata.

While it's now widely understood that vomitoriums were passageways in and out of stadiums (that 'vomited' up spectators), rather than a room where the Romans went to purge during feasts, we still know the ruling class liked their banquets - and a couple of millennia on, even ordinary plebeians get to indulge.

La festa si è conclusa con una scorpacciata.
The celebration ended with a blowout feast.

If you're pairing the word with a verb, you'll want fare - to do or to make - or farsi, to do/make for oneself (the reflexive form is sometimes added to verbs that don't require it, like mangiare or bere, for emphasis):

Si sono fatti una bella scorpacciata.
They had themselves a great feast.

Per Capodanno abbiamo fatto una scorpacciata di pesce e frutti di mare.
For New Year's we had a mountain of fish and seafood.

An alternative word is abbufatta, which can be turned into a verb with abbuffarsi (to binge or stuff oneself).

Non mi sorprende che tu abbia sonno dopo quell'abbuffata.
It doesn't surprise me that you're feeling sleepy after that feeding frenzy.

Stamattina mi sono abbuffata di torta e ora non ho spazio per il pranzo.
I stuffed myself with cake this morning and now I don't have any room for lunch.

Both scorpacciata and abbuffata can, of course, have negative connotations, with abbuffata in particular sometimes referring to unhealthy binge-eating.


While both words usually refer to food, they can be used in a figurative sense to talk about a glut or binge of books, movies, card games, or anything else done to excess.

Cè una scorpacciata di eventi da non perdere a settembre.
There's a smorgasbord of events to look forward to in September.

Non so se riuscirò a dormire dopo questa abbuffata di film horror.
I don't know if I'll be able to sleep after that horror film binge.

Just remember to pace yourself for your next scorpacciata - whether it revolves around spaghetti or slasher movies.

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