Word of the Day: Salamelecco

As you all can imagine, most words in the Italian language come from Latin or other romance languages, with some words occasionally borrowed from German or English. Today’s word of the day comes from… maybe you guessed it already… ARABIC!

Salamelecco is an Italian noun (m) used mainly in its plural form, salamelecchi, meaning excessive formality, or ‘bowing and scraping.’ Basically, a big hoopla when saying hello. The word is used with the Italian verb to make, or fare, meaning to make a big deal when saluting someone: to bow and scrape in front of someone.
It’s not used very often, but I still think it’s pretty awesome, and definitely fun to say.

This phrase in Italian is taken from the Arabic salute, salam aleikum, meaning ‘peace be upon you.’ Italians have taken the popularly used Arabic greeting and adapted it to describe one who salutes with exaggerated reverence and unceremonious formality.
It must be said that its use in Italian is in slight mocking and jest of the Arabic salute.

‘Vorrei entrare senza fare mille salamelecchi.’ – I would like to get in without exaggerating greetings and hellos.

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