Word of the day – giovanissimi

giovanissimi, noun = young teenagers

Related words:
gioventù, noun = youth
giovane, adjective = young, noun = youth, young man, girl, young woman
giovanotto, noun = young man
giovanile, adjective = youthful
i giovani, noun = the young

Antonyms
vecchio, adjective = old, noun = old man
vecchia, noun = old woman
i vecchi, noun = old people
vecchiaia, noun = old age

This word caught my eye today while working on a website in Italian. It demonstrates one aspect of Italian word formation: the intensifying ending -issim-, which you can add to most adjectives. For example, buono = good, buonissimo = very good.

When you learn a new word in a foreign language, it’s a good idea to learn related words and antonyms (words with the opposite meaning). This helps to build up your vocabulary.

I made the soundfiles with the text-to-speech program at:
http://www.pd.istc.cnr.it/FESTIVAL/home/demo-interactive.htm

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This entry was posted in Italian, Language, Words and phrases.

8 Responses to Word of the day – giovanissimi

  1. TJ says:

    Also, as far as I know, Giovani is the equivalent italian name for “John” right? or could it have another spelling?

  2. Joseph Staleknight says:

    Isn’t it “Giovanni” with two n’s?

  3. TJ says:

    Oh might be!

  4. Simon says:

    The Italian equivalent of John is indeed “Giovanni”, as in Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni.

  5. céline says:

    I completely agree with you when you say that it is useful to learn antonyms, synonyms and related words when developing your vocabulary. I find it makes such new words much easier to remember because it anchors them to something that you possess already, giving them a much firmer and clearer place in the greater picture.

  6. Andrea from Italy says:

    Well, Giovanni (with two n’s) is the Italian for John.
    Omiglot is super!

  7. The nouns “vecchio”, “vecchia” and “vecchi” also have one more meaning in colloquial Italian: “father”, “mother” and “parents”, respectively. In order to give the word this meaning, a definite article and a possessive pronoun should always be used before the noun: e.g. “il mio vecchio” (my dad), “i tuoi vecchi” (your parents), “la sua vecchia” (his/her mom), etc. etc.
    Despite being very colloquial, this expression is not used too often, but it may indeed occur, in the spoken language as well as in literature. Without being aware of its meaning, the whole sentence might be easily misunderstood.

  8. Yeah, you Omniglot is so wonderful! I find it easier to learn new Italian words when I have a basis of English vocabulary.