Words are everywhere you go! Each city has its own idioms and expressions for everyday life. Bologna is no exception and has plenty of examples. Let’s start with two popular subjects: at home and in the street.
Burazzo: Fundamental for drying dishes, the “burazzo” gives a decorative flair to any kitchen with its imaginative patterns and various colors. It is often found hanging next to the sink.
Burazzo = Dishcloth
Secchiaio: Speaking of sinks, the “Secchiaio” is where dishes, glasses, silverware, pots, pans, and much more are washed, always ready for battle with a sponge, dish soap, and gloves.
Secchiaio = Sink
Bovinello: A tool used to transfer liquids. Need to pour wine into a bottle with a narrow opening? That’s when a “bovinello” is useful!
Bovinello = Funnel
Sportina: A bag, made of paper or plastic, used particularly in supermarkets or shops to carry newly purchased objects or food. Next time you go shopping in Bologna, listen for the cashier’s standard question: “Serve una sportina?” (Need a bag?)
Sportina = Shopping bag
In the street
Biga: A two-wheeled means of transport, very useful for getting around the city (make sure it doesn’t get stolen though!). The “biga” just needs a bit of pedaling and it can take you anywhere. Once you’ve built up your leg muscles you can even travel into the hills.
Biga = Bicycle
Ferro: A four-wheeled means of transport which, depending on how powerful the engine is, can take us much further than the “biga” (traffic permitting). When buying a new one, everyone likes to show off their “ferro nuovo”!
Ferro = Car
Broda: What does a “Ferro” need to run? A healthy serving of “broda”, of course! Just head over to the nearest distributor and fill up. Then your car will be ready to clock up the miles.
Broda = Gasoline
Tange: one of Bologna’s best-known roads and where you often get stuck in traffic, especially during rush hour. Make sure you take the right exit when you leave the “Tange”, it’s easy to get it wrong!
Tange = Ring road
Do you know other words in Bolognese slang?
Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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