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Italian word of the day: 'Baffi'

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italian word of the day: 'Baffi'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

You'll be licking your chops over this word.

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A word that can feel particularly satisfying to say in Italian is baffi: a moustache, or, on an animal, whiskers.

It takes the plural form in Italian, as it's referring to the two halves of a moustache.

In fact English at one time did the same - moustache (which comes from the archaic Italian mostaccio) used to be used in the plural, but became standardised as singular in around the 19th century.

Ha dei baffi enormi.
He has an enormous moustache.

You don't need impressive upper facial hair to talk about your baffi, though, as the word also features in certain everyday expressions.

Leccarsi i baffi is to lick your chops - if something is delicious or mouthwatering it's da leccarsi i baffi.

Si stavano leccando i baffi.
They were licking their chops.

Ha preparato una cena da leccarsi i baffi.
He's made a mouthwatering dinner.

Buonp Buonissimo Delizioso Da Leccarsi I Baffi Simpson Ned Flunders GIF - Yummy So Good Moustache GIFs Source: Tenor

And ridere sotto i baffi ('to laugh under your moustache') is to laugh or snicker under your breath.

Ti ho visto ridere sotto i baffi.
I saw you snickering.

La smettete di ridere sotto i baffi!
Wipe those smirks off your faces!

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The next time you want to express appreciation for a well-cooked meal or tell someone off for sniggering, you'll know what just to say.

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