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Italian Loanwords in English
(the Italian etymology of some common English words)
part 2

see also: List of Italian Loanwords in English (part 1)

compiled by Catherine de Luca

Carnival: from carnevale, an alteration of Milanese carnelevale and Old Pisan carnelevare (literally meaning: leaving off eating meat, from levare (to remove) and carne (meat). Carnival originally refered to the last three days before Lent.

Casino: from casino, the diminutive form of casa (house). The meaning "building used for gambling" was first used in English in 1851.

Pants: shortening of 'pantaloons', formed from an association with Pantalone,  Pantaleone (known in English as 'Pantaloon'), a Venetian character in early Italian comedy wearing tight trousers that were a combination of breeches and stockings.

Risk (1661):  from Italian riso, rischio, of uncertain origin.

Umbrella: from Italian ombrello, ombrella, from Late Latin umbella 'sunshade, parasol', dim. of umbra 'shade, shadow'. The sunshade in the Mediterranean became a shelter from the rain in England.

Volcano: from Italian vulcano, volcano, literally meaning, 'burning mountain'. First applied to the Etna by the Romans, as the seat of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metal working.
Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, Robert K. Barnhart (Ed.), the H.W. Wilson Company
La Lingua Italiana by Maurizio Dardano and Pietro Trifone
Dictionary of Languages by Andrew Dably

External links:
Etymologically speaking
Online Etymology Dictionary

Influenza: borrowed from italian influenza (literally: influence (of the stars)) during an outbreak of this disease that spread over Europe in 1743.

Malaria: from Italian mala aria (bad air). The disease was formerly thought to be caused by bad air in swampy areas.
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