Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) and interesting (to us, again) words we encountered in our readings. See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!
This week I have no word to share from my readings, but I thought I would look up something that came up lately.
A couple of weeks ago we (as Italians in Portugal) had a guest from Greece and as we were driving her to the sights the word “cicerone” came up. Cicerone is Italian for Cicero, and we use it to mean a guide, especially a tourist guide. A Portuguese colleague explained that you can use the same word in that sense in Portuguese as well. As we spoke in English, we wondered if the same was true in English: can you say “cicero” to mean a guide? But because no English mother tongue was present, at the time we were left wondering.
Well, apparently the answer is no. In English, you use the Italian word, “cicerone”. I guess this comes from the times when English-speaking people came to Italy on the “Grand Tour”.
I know this won’t be a great find for many of my readers, but I thought it was funny enough to be worth sharing!
(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)