Word of the Day: Accidenti

Walking the streets of Rome, in any neighborhood, at any time of day, it’s not very hard to hear cuss words. Heck, even at the supermarket I hear people dropping some bombs just because the meat guy gave them prosciutto San Daniele instead of prosciutto di Parma…

While I am completely anti using curse words [in this very public forum], one word I don’t mind using is accidenti. Literally, accidenti is the plural of Italian noun, accidente, meaning an accident. Used as an expression though, it means gosh! Gee whiz! Darn! Jeepers creepers! And so on… Basically, it’s the neutral way to express consternation over something or someone.

The word accidente comes from the Latin verb, accidere, meaning to fall on top of. In its present participle form, accidens, it connotes an unforeseen event, being good or bad, hence today’s definition of accidenti as an exclamation.

You have just dropped an expensive vase on the floor and it broke into pieces. You say:
Accidenti!!’ – Darn it!!

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