Word of the Day (la parola del giorno)

Word of the Day: Schifo

Pronounced in English, ‘skeefo,’ it is, fo sho, one of the most fun words to use in Italian.
Somewhat onomatopoeic in my opinion, it means;  disgusting, crappy, rubbish, awful, stinks, revolting. And if Urban Dictionary can indeed be used as a source, it is also the root for the English word of disgust and creepy, skeevy. (Dictionary.com says so too!)

Schifo, coming from the old Italian word, ‘schifo,’ has also been transformed into a verb, ‘schifare‘, or to loathe, to disgust.
When used as an noun, it is generally in conjunction with the verb, ‘fare,or to make, or to do. In other words, something ‘makes schifo,’ ‘fa schifo.’

Used in many contexts, schifo  is a word that gets thrown out at least a few times a day. You can hear people dropping the S-bomb in all sorts of situations. It is not a curse word, so it’s totally acceptable to use in front of anyone.

Some examples for using schifo, the way Italians would:
-“Questa pasta fa schifo!” – This pasta is gross!
-“Che schifo bere il latte dopo le 11!” – It’s gross to drink milk after 11 AM!
-“Faccio schifo alla stiratura, lascio tutto a mia madre.” – I suck at ironing, I’ll leave it all for my mommy.
-“Vasco Rossi non fa schifo, è ancora bravissimo!” – Vasco Rossi doesn’t suck, he’s still great!
-“Il cibo francese fa schifo.” – French food is disgusting.

4 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Schifo

  1. but I think I’ve heard schifo used more precisely in architecture/archaeology about a ruin, or an old bit of building?… – i.e. possibly very valuable (excavators/conservators remove modern cladding and find behind it ‘muro schifo’) and not just disgusting or awful… no?

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