Uncategorized

Word of the Day: Auguri

More than congratulations (congratulazioni) in Italy, people give auguri, or well wishes. In other words, it’s a way to wish someone well in the future, or a way to say ‘all the best.’ You use it to wish someone a happy birthday (in addition to the less used, buon compleanno). You can also say it to someone who recently graduated, got married, or completed some difficult task.

Examples:
Auguri di buon anno!’ – Happy new year!
‘E’ il tuo compleanno, Pietro?! Auguri!’ – Peter, it’s your birthday?! Best wishes!
Auguri!’ – Mazal tov!

Auguri is actually the plural form of the masculine noun, augurio. Augurio is a wish, or a hope expressed which can be positive or negative for one’s future. Therefore, it can also mean a bad omen, or an ill wish directed toward someone. However, when spoken in the plural, auguri is used for auspicious occasions.
Augurio stems from the Latin, augurium – the foreseeing, or the divination of the future through song, or through the flight of birds (for the Romans).

Side-note: Wishing someone auguri for his/her birthday before the actual day, or before an exam is quite unappreciated, and considered superstitiously bad luck.

4 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Auguri

  1. Hi to everybody,
    I am Donatella, from Basilicata.(south to Rome) I was quite impressed about the explanation of the italian word “Auguri”. Thank you!
    Let me add a comment on it: I live in Germany and I am doing a Master programme focused on Intercultural Communication. M. Agar is one of the scholars we are considering in deepening this subject. He would talk about “Auguri” as a rich point, or linguistic tip very rich in meanings and connotations, which creates a new frame of knowledge, especially for non-native speakers. Enjoy Italian language :).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s