Word of the Day (la parola del giorno)

Word of the Day: Rosicare

So you know when you find out your ex has a new special someone? Or when you postponed buying a plane ticket and then when you finally went to buy it, it doubled in price? Or maybe when you went to a restaurant and didn’t indulge in the salad bar because you didn’t realize it was included in the price? Or when everyone tells me ‘wow you look so much better tanned!’ You know, when you get that gnawing feeling like you just want to SCREAM, or use an expletive? Well that is rosicare in Italian/Roman slang.

Just like many other Italian words, rosicare  is a bit hard to translate into English. Literally, it means to gnaw/nibble, or to erode. To use it, conjugate it normally, according to person and tense. From what I understand, one can use rosicare to mean either, 1) being envious (or like our English phrase, ‘green with envy,’ or 2) getting angry, annoyed, or fed up. There is a very thin line between the two explanations, yet it is important to understand both meanings.

Meaning 1rosicare as being envious:
‘Carlo ha rosicato perchè ho vinto la borsa di studio nel suo posto’- Carlo became green with envy because I won the scholarship instead of him.

Meaning 2rosicare  as getting angry:
‘Francesco mi ha detto che sto meglio con i capelli lunghi. Ho rosicato perchè me li sono tagliati oggi!’ – Francesco told me I look better with long hair. I got annoyed, because I got a haircut today!

You can also call someone a rosicone, which means, one who is envious, sensitive, or gets angry easily.

It seems like rosicare has meant ‘to gain’ at one point, because in my research I also found the phrase, ‘Chi non rischia, non rosica,’ or ‘one who does not risk, does not gain.’ Or as I nerdily like to think about it, ‘chi non rischia a Risiko, non rosica,’ – one who does not risk at Risk, does not gain [other countries]!

2 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Rosicare

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