Italian Commercial Neologisms

Italian shops are often called something ending in “-eria”. A bookshop is a libreria, from libro which means book. A pizzeria makes and sell pizze (plural of pizza), a gelateria sells gelato, icecream, and so on. An osteria sells hospitality, literally a “hostery” like in “host” 🙂

Since the scheme is very simple, it is very easy to create new words this way, words that are immediately understandable, though missing in most dictionaries.

Here are a few of the ones I have stumbled upon lately.

A yogurteria probably sells youghurt icecream, since it is also a gelateria. It is also a creperia from the French “crepe”, pancake. Seen in Alghero, Sardinia.

A drinkeria sells drinks. It is a bar, after all. They also sell sandwiches, as it is also a panineria In Palermo, Sicily.

The word pantofole means slippers, so a pantofoleria is probably a shop specialised in slippers. Palermo, Sicily.

Cous-cous is not only eaten in North Africa, it is also considered native to Western Sicily. Hence one should not be surprised to find a cous cousseria in Palermo, Sicily.

Don’t hurry we’re already late

Maybe I’m getting more italianised that I had ever imagined, but I actually managed to write the above sentence in an email to Wendy lately. I meant it and I still do. No mistake there.

It is well known that people from Southern Europe has a different sense of time that people from Northern Europe. Or maybe its the other way around. One Italian friend described northern Europeans as “human Swiss clockworks” for whom everything revolves about the concept of time. Many northern Europeans, on the other hand, see Italians and other southerners as sloppy, imprecise and less dependable.

I’m sure most people who know me don’t exactly think of Swiss clockworks when they think of me, so maybe Italy has had a more profound influence on me than I thought. I’m not sure its always been like that, but then again, I’m quite sure many who know me will disagree there 🙂