In Italy, you really must expect the unexpected. The only thing we know for sure is that every day here will be full of surprises.
So here's a handy word that you can use in all of those surprising situations – good and bad.
Put simply, accipicchia means “wow!” or “gosh!”
A bit like caspita or cavolo, it's the kind of inoffensive euphemism that you might use in front of children.
It comes from accidenti, which means somethhing like “damn!” and is itself pretty mild by today's standards.
But maybe because it's such fun to say, accipicchia has stuck around.
So how do you say it exactly? Ah-chee-pick-ya
The wide range of words dictionaries translate it to include the likes of “blimey” “crikey” “shoot” “jeepers”, “jeez” and even “cool beans”. And like these words, accipicchia sounds very mild, even twee.
But we think it's charming, and it can definitely come in useful.
Whether you're delighted, frightened or just mildly surprised, this is an exclamation you can use without fear of causing offence.
- Accipicchia! Mi ha spaventato, ragazzino
- Jeez! You really scared me, kid
- Accipicchia, da dove salta tuori?
- Gosh, where did that come from?
- Accipicchia! Guardate che traffico!
- Yikes, look at this traffic!
As you can see, this exclamation is usually used at the beginning of a sentence, or alone.
So next time something takes you by surprise, we hope you'll get soome use out of this fun Italian word!
Do you have a favourite Italian word you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editorJessica Phelan with your suggestion.