If you are a follower of world football you would know that some Brazilian footballers and, to a lesser extent, Portuguese ones, are better known by their first names only, or their nicknames. For example, there was the Brazilian Ronaldo and one called Ronaldinho, the –inho suffix on the latter meaning “little”. Thus Ronaldinho = little Ronaldo. I myself have been nicknamed Bernardinho by friends and colleagues (because of my interest in European and Brazilian Portuguese, my great footballing skills and my love of football). However, since then I have put on about 10 kilograms and some years so I can’t really be called “little Bernard” anymore, so nowadays Bernardo is more appropriate if I want to sound a bit exotic in a Latino way.
Italian has the same concept, using the –ino and –ina suffixes
- il ragazzo, the boy
- il ragazzino, the little boy
- la ragazza, the girl
- la ragazzina, the little girl
But Italian also seems to take it further: the suffixes –one and –ona denote “big”
- il ragazzone, the big boy
- la ragazzona, the big girl
Following this logic, my exotic Italian persona would be Bernardone 🙂
Interestingly, Italian also has the suffixes –accio and –accia, indicating “bad”
- il ragazzaccio, the bad boy
- la ragazzaccia, the bad girl
Since Portuguese, as far as I know, does not have this concept, and from memory French doesn’t have these type of suffixes at all, this would suggest to me that Italian boys and girls are a lot more naughty than their Romance language counterparts.
So, let’s listen to some music that immediately comes to mind, or more precisely to Bernardaccio’s mindaccio. It’s a live performance of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders singing Bad Boys Get Spanked. Mmmmmm
To spank in Italian is sculacciare, and a spanking is una sculacciata. (Dare una sculacciata is a another way of saying to spank, or to give a spanking.)
My Italian guide books say you should be careful when using the –accio and –accia suffixes in case you offend people, but they do not give any examples of how one might be offensive. This is a pity. Bernardoneaccio (Big Bad Bernie) loves offending people!
Come back for more insults and punishment soon, OK?
- Start flying in Italian, sort of (myfiveromances.wordpress.com)
- Learning Italian. A simple beginner’s exercise. (itrialingua.com)
- Some basic French: nouns and articles (les noms et les articles) (myfiveromances.wordpress.com)
- Ĉu vi vere volas legi tion ĉi? (dominickramblings.wordpress.com)
- The Romantic Languages (languageofblog.com)
- Conjuguemos (almostdailytip.wordpress.com)
- Why should you learn Brazilian Portuguese? (bilingualismsig.wordpress.com)
- I just started / languages I struggle with (crazyleseratte.wordpress.com)
- Week 3: Pasta, wine, and a cure for homesickness (kaitlyneganabologna.wordpress.com)