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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Italian expression of the day: ‘Tutti quanti’

Here's a phrase the whole lot of you should know.

Italian expression of the day: 'Tutti quanti'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Everyone, everybody, all of you, all and sundry, every last one, every single one, the whole darn lot of you: when you’re talking to a group and every person in it, tutti quanti (pronounced “toot-ee kwan-tee”) is the phrase to use.

It’s made up of tutti, the word for ‘all’ or ‘everyone’, plus quanti – which usually means ‘how many’ or ‘as many’, but in this case just think of it as adding emphasis to ‘everyone’. 

It’s the difference between saying ‘everyone’ (tutti) and ‘every single one’ (tutti quanti). 

Tutti quanti la pensano come me.
Absolutely everyone sees it like I do.

Forza, tutti quanti, svegliatevi.
Come on, wake up, the lot of you.

Tutti quanti is the masculine plural form of the phrase, commonly used to refer to several people (or things) at once. 

But you can also make it singular (tutto quanto) if you want to talk about ‘the whole thing’, and feminine if the people or nouns you mean are feminine (tutta quanta, tutte quante). 

Mettete a posto tutto quanto.
Tidy the whole lot up.

Ho letto tutte quante le sue poesie.
I read every last one of her poems.

S’è bevuta tutta quanta la bottiglia.
The entire bottle got drunk.

As you can tell, there isn’t a real difference in meaning between ‘everybody’ and ‘absolutely everybody’, tutti and tutti quanti – it’s more a question of tone.

That’s why the lyric ‘Everybody Wants To Be A Cat’ from Disney’s Aristocats (or ‘Gli Aristogatti’ in Italian) was translated as ‘Tutti quanti voglion’ fare jazz’ (‘Everybody wants to play jazz’): it means the same thing, it just sounds better.

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

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ITALIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Italian word of the day: ‘Delusione’

We hope this word doesn't disappoint.

Italian word of the day: 'Delusione'

Experiencing a delusione (deh-loo-zee-OH-neh) in Italian may not be pleasant, but it doesn’t mean you need escorting to the psychiatrist’s chair.

That’s because while delusione may look and sound like its English cousin ‘delusion’, the word actually means something quite different: disappointment.

Disappointment Disappointed GIF - Disappointment Disappointed Food Review GIFs

The two nouns actually have the same root in the Latin dēlūsiō, meaning a deceiving or deluding, and delūdō, meaning to deceive, dupe, or mock.

But while the English ‘delusion’ has hewn close to the original Latin meaning over the centuries, delusione at some point branched off to its current, quite different, definition.

There’s not much in the way of information about exactly when and how that happened, but it’s clearly a short associative hop from feeling ‘deceived’ or ‘duped’ by things turning out differently to what you’d expected to feeling ‘disappointed’.

Che delusione.
How disappointing.

La festa era, purtroppo, una grande delusione.
The party unfortunately was a big disappointment.

Mike Ehrmantraut Breaking Bad Che Delusione No Che Vergogna GIF - Disappointment Disappointed Oh No GIFs

The adjective for ‘disappointed’ is deluso for a single masculine subject, changing to delusa/delusi/deluse if the subject being described is feminine singular/masculine plural/feminine plural.

Era delusa da come era venuta la torta.
She was disappointed with how the cake turned out.

Devo dire che siamo davvero delusi dal fatto che siamo stati trattati in questo modo.
I have to say that we’re very disappointed to have been treated this way.

A word you’ll often see used in combination with deluso/a/i/e is rimanere (ree-man-EH-reh): rimanere deluso.

You might correctly recognise rimanere as meaning ‘to remain’, and wonder why we’d use that word here – but rimanere also has an alternative meaning along the lines of ‘to become’, ‘to get’, or simply ‘to be’.

For example, you can rimanere incinta (get pregnant), or rimanere ferito (get hurt or wounded, for example in a car accident).

It’s also very often used with emotions, usually those experienced in the moment rather than long-term ones: you can rimanere sorpreso (be surprised), rimanere triste (be sad), rimanere scioccato (be shocked)… and rimanere deluso (be disappointed).

Sono rimasto molto deluso quando mi ha detto di aver abbandonato la scuola.
I was very disappointed when she told me she had dropped out of school.

Siamo rimasti delusi dalle condizioni della stanza d’albergo al nostro arrivo.
We were disappointed by the condition of the hotel room when we arrived.

With that, we wish you a weekend free of delusioni (disappointments)!

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

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