Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

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La Bella Lingua

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From La Bella Lingua:

Flirting … translates into fare la civetta, or “make like an owl.” Only Italian distinguishes between a civettino, a precocious boy flattering a pretty woman; a civettone, a boorish lout doing the same; a civettina, an innocent coquette; and a civettuola, a brazen hussy. A giovanotto di prima barba (a boy who starts flirting even before growing a beard) may turn out to be a damerino (dandy), a zerbino (doormat), a zerbinetto (lady-killer) or a zerbinotto (a fop too old for such foolishness). If he becomes a cicisbeo, he joins a long line of Italian men who flagrantly courted married women.

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Written by Elizabeth

January 14, 2009 at 1:05 am

Posted in Culture, Lit

Tagged with , ,

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