Sicilian-English Dictionary: Basic Vocabulary

Learn some basic Sicilian words

Norman castle in Sicily
The Mediterranean was history's original crossroads. Norman conquerors from northern France built this castle in Sicily in the 1100s. ©Karen Tina Harrison

Sicilian, a language all of its own not derived from Italian but rather developed alongside Italian, is spoken in Sicily and in parts of southern Italy such as Reggio Calabria and southern Puglia. The language, whose origins long predate Roman presence in Italy, is derived from Semitic languages, Greek, Latin, and Arabic, with CatalanFrench, and German influences.

Following is a dictionary of often-used Sicilian words. Note that there are no entries for the letters h, j, k, w, x, and y because there are no words in Sicilian beginning with those letters. 

abbrazzari

to embrace

abbunnanzza

abundance

abiti

clothes

accappatoriu

bathrobe

accenniri

to light up

accettari

to accept

acchiappari

to grab

accuminzari

to begin

aceddu

bird

acitu

sour

acitu

vinegar

acula

eagle

addivintari

to become

agghiu

garlic

agustu

August

aieri

yesterday

alagusta

lobster

albergu

hotel

almenu

at least

americanu

American

ammazzari

to kill

ananassu

pineapple

aneddu

ring

annu

year

annuiari

to annoy

antipaticu

nasty

apertu

open

appenniri

to hang

aringa

herring

ariuportu

airport

arvulu

tree

assegnu

check

assulatu

sunny

attentu

careful

attrici

actress

auitu

high

autru

another

aviri

to have

avvucatu

lawyer

azzurru

blue

babbu

stupid

baccalaru

dry salted cod

bagagghiu

baggage

bagnu

bath

balena

whale

ballari

to dance

bannera

flag

barcuni

balcony

Baroccu

Baroque

batellu

boat

battiri

to knock

bedda

beautiful

beddu

handsome

beni

well

benvinutu

welcome

biancu

white

bibblioteca

library

biddizza

beauty

bigliettu

ticket

binariu

train platform

birritta

cap

biscottu

biscuit

bisognu

need

bistecca

steak

biunnu

blond

bivanna

drink

biviri

to drink

bona notti

good night

bona sira

good evening

bon giornu

good morning

bonu

good

bracciulettu

bracelet

brazzu

arm

brodu

broth

buggiardu

liar

burru

butter

bursa

handbag

busta

envelope

buttigghia

bottle

buttuni

button

caccociuli

artichokes

caffè doppiu

double espresso

caffè macchiatu

coffee with a drop of milk

calendariu

calendar

camiuni

truck

canciari

to change; to exchange

cannolu

sweet ricotta-filled tube

cantu

corner

canusciri

to get to know

cappeddu

hat

cappuccinu

cappuccino

capu

boss, leader

cartellu

road sign

casedda

toolbooth

cattidrali

cathedral

cavaddu

horse

cca

here

cecu

blind

celu

sky

centu

hundred

chianciri

to cry

chiù

more

chiudiri

to close

chiummu

lead

chiuvusu

rainy

ciciri

chickpeas

cipudda

onion

ciriveddu

brain

cocciutu

stubborn

cociri

to cook

cognetturari

to guess

comunqui

however, anyway

cori

heart

coriu

leather

corpu

body

costruiri

to construct

cotidianu

newspaper

cuda

tail

cumeddia

comedy

cuscinu

cousin

danaru

money

danniggiari

to injure

dannu

damage

dari

to give

dda

there

debbitu

debt

debbuli

weak

deci

ten

decidiri

to decide

defenniri

to defend

depositu

deposit

desiderari

to desire

destinu

destiny

deviri

to have to

diavulu

devil

diggiriri

to digest

dilicatu

sensitive, delicate

dintista

dentist

direttu

local train

diri

to say, tell

diriggiri

to direct

discursu

speech

disponibbili

available

distanti

distant

Diu

God

divertimentu

pleasure

dollaru

dollar

doppu

afterward

dormiri

to sleep

dubbiu

doubt

duci

sweet

duluri

pain

dumani

tomorrow

dumanna

question

dumannari

to inquire

duminica

Sunday

duru

hard

dutturi

doctor

duviri

to have to

duzzina

dozen

eccu

here is / are

eccettu

except

effettivu

effective

eleganti

stylish

eliggiri

to elect

enormi

huge

eredi

heir

esami

exam

esempiu

example

esercitu

army

eserciziu

exercise

esibbizzioni

exhibition

esistiri

to exist

esitari

to hesitate

esoticu

exotic

espressu

express train

essiri

to be

estati

summer

esteri

foreign

ettu

etto (one-tenth of a kilo)

fabbricari

to build

facci

face

facili

easy

falliri

to fail

falsu

false

famigghia

family

fari

headlights

fasoli

beans

favuri

favor

fedda

(fetta) slice

felici

happy

fermari

to stop

ferru

iron

fichi

figs

ficu d'India

prickly pear

figatu

liver

figghia

daughter

figghiu

son

fimmina

woman

finiri

to finish

finocchiu

fennel

finu a

up to

fivraru

February

focu

fire

fora

outside

fraguli

strawberries

frasi

sentence

frevi

fever

friddu

cold

frittu

fried

fudda

crowd

fumari

to smoke

fumu

smoke

funci

mushrooms

funnu

bottom

furiusu

furious

furmaggiu

cheese

furnu

oven

furtizza

fortress

furtuna

fortune

gabbinettu

office

gaddina

chicken

gambaretti

shrimps

gattu

cat

gelatu

ice cream

gemellu

twin

generusu

generous

genituri

parent

genti

people

ghiaccaia

refrigerator

giardinu

garden

gileccu

vest

gilusu

jealous

girari

to turn

giru

tour

giucattulu

toy

giugnu

June

giurari

to swear

giuvini

young

gradinu

stair

gradu

degree

grammu

gram

granni

large

granturcu

corn

granu

wheat

grassu

fat

gratuitu

free

gravi

serious

grazii

thanks

grazziusu

pretty

gridari

to scream

grossu

big

guadagnu

gain

guardari

to look

guarizzioni

cure

guastari

to spoil

gudiri

to enjoy

guidari

to drive

gula

throat

gustu

flavor

idda

she

iddi

they

iddu

he

imparari

to learn

impiegu

employment

imprisa

enterprise

inabbili

unable

incantu

charm

incartari

to wrap

incirari

to wax

inclusu

included

incompetenti

incompetent

incontru

meeting

incruciamentu

intersection

incuntrari

to meet

indetru

back

indirizzu

address

individuu

individual

infernu

hell

ingannu

fraud

inglisi

English

innamuratu

lover

innaru

January

innuccenti

innocent

insazziabbili

insatiable

insettu

insect

insignari

to teach

intendiri

to intend

internu

inside

interrugari

to interrogate

inveci

instead

inventari

to invent

invernu

winter

invitu

invitation

iri

to go

istintu

instinct

istruiri

to instruct

isula

island

isulari

to isolate

iu stissu

myself

jinchiri

to fill

jinnaru

January

jiri

to go

jiritu

finger

jiritu du pedi

toe

jisari

to raise

jocu

game

jocu di cauciu

soccer

jornu

day

jucari

to play

jurnata

the whole day

lagnusu

lazy

lagu

lake

lanciari

to launch

lapisi

pencil

largu

wide, broad

lassari

to let; leave

latru

thief

latti

milk

lattuca

lettuce

latu

side

lavari

to wash

lavuraturi

worker

lavuri in corsu

work in progress

lazzi di scarpi

shoelaces

leggiri

to read

lentu

slow; slowly

lettu

bed

lezzioni

lesson

libbertà

liberty

libberu

free

libbru

book

ligari

to attach

liggenna

legend

liggitimu

legal

lignu

wood

limonata

lemonade

limuni

lemon

lisciu

smooth

litru

liter

littra

letter

locu

place

lordu

dirty

lu

it

luci

light

lunghizza

length

lungu

long

luntanu

far

lutta

struggle

magghia

undershirt

maggiu

May

maggiuranza

majority

magnificu

grand

maistru

master

malancunia

melancholy

malatu

sick

malevulu

malevolent

malu

bad

manu

hand

manzu

beef

maravigghiusu

wonderful

marciu

rotten

mari

sea

marinaru

seaman

marruni

brown

marzu

March

masculu

male

massaggiu

massage

matarazzu

mattress

matri

mother

mbriacu

drunk

mbrugghiuni

crook

menzu

half

mettiri

to put

midicina

medicine

minimu

minimum

minsogna

lie

mirruzzu

cod

misi

month

miu

mine

molu

pier

mortu

dead

moturi

motor

mulinu

mill

muluni

melon

munnu

world

mustrari

to show

mutanni

underwear

muturi

motor

nannu

grandfather

nastru

tape

nasu

nose

natali

Christmas

natari

to swim

navi

ship

navigari

to navigate

nazzioni

nation

negari

to deny

negativu

negative

negghia

fog

negozziu

store

nemicu

enemy

nenti

nothing

nesciri

to go out

nessunu

nobody

nfurnari

to bake

nicu

small

niputi

nephew, niece; grandchild

nisciuta

exit

niuri

black

nivi

snow

nnamurarisi

to fall in love

nnomu

name

nordu

north

nostru

our; ours

notti

night

novu

new

nquantu

regarding

nsemuli

together

nsultari

to insult

nsumma

finally

ntantu

meanwhile

nticchiatu

dressed up

nucevuli

harmful

nucidda

hazelnut

nuddu

nobody

nuliggiari

to hire

nutizzia

news

nuvulusu

cloudy

obbidiri

to obey

obbligu

duty

occasioni

occasion

occhiali pô suli

sunglasses

occhiata

glance

occhiu

eye

occidenti

west

oceanu

ocean

odiari

to detest

odiu

hatred

offenniri

to insult

officiali

official

offriri

to offer

ogghiu

oil

oliu

oil

olivi

olives

omettiri

to omit

ommini

men

omu

man

onestu

honest

onoratu

honored

opuru

or

orali

oral

orariu

timetable

ordinari

to command

organizzari

to organize

oricchia

ear

origgini

origin

orlu

hem

ornari

to decorate; to adorn

orribbili

horrible

orridu

hideous

oru

gold

ospitali

hospital

ospitu

guest

ossu

bone

otteniri

acquire

ottu

eight

ottubbri

October

ovali

oval

pacenza

patience

paci

peace

palazzu

palace

paninu

sandwich, bread roll

panza

belly

paradisu

paradise

paragunari

to compare

parcheggiu

parking

parcu

park

paredda

frying pan

parrari

to talk, speak

partitu

political party

pastu

meal

pazzu

insane

peggiu

worse

periculusu

dangerous

piattu

plate

picciotta

girl

picciottu

boy

picciridda

small girl

picciriddu

small boy

pinna

pen

pinseru

thought

pi piaciri

please

pirdutu

lost

pirsuna

person

pisci

fish

pisedda

pea

pitittu

appetite

pocu

few

pollipu

octopus

pomeriggiu

afternoon

postinu

mailman

pranzu

lunch

pregu

you are welcome

prestu

quickly

pri

for

prigiuni

prison

pumudamuru

tomato

putiri

to be able to

qualchi

some

qualcunu

someone

qualunqui

whatever

quannu

when

quantu

how much

quarchi cosa

something

quarchi vota

sometimes

quasetta

sock

quattru

four

quinnici

fifteen

racina

grape

radiaturi

radiator

radici

root

radirsi

to shave oneself

raggia

anger

rapidu

fast, rapid

raru

rare

rassimigghiari

to resemble

reali

royal

regulari

regular

resistiri

to resist

ricanusciri

to acknowledge

riccu

rich

ricivirito

receive

ridiri

to laugh

rifiutari

to refuse

rigalu

gift

riggidu

rigid

riggina

queen

rilogiu

clock

ripetiri

to repeat

ripusari

to rest

ripustigghiu

closet

rispettu

respect

rispunniri

to answer, reply

ristituiri

to refund

risu

rice

ritardari

to delay

ritirari

to withdraw

ritrattu

portrait

riturnari

to return

robbustu

robust

rologeria

watchmaker

romanzu

novel

rosariu

rosary

rotunnu

round

rozzu

boorish

rubbari

to steal

russu

red

ruttu

broken

sabbatu

Saturday

sacrifizziu

sacrifice

sacru

sacred

saldu

sale

sangu

blood

sanu

healthy

sapiri

to know

sapuri

taste

sartu

tailor

sarvaggiu

wild

sarvari

to save

sbrigarisi

to hurry

scandatu

afraid

scannalu

scandal

scanusciutu

stranger

scarsu

scarce

scatula

box

sceccu

donkey

scinniri

to get off, step down

scioccu

stupid

scuperta

discovery

scupiri

to discover

scuraggiutu

discouraged

scuru

dark

sempri

always

severu

severe

sfari

to undo

sicilianu

Sicilian

significari

to mean

simana

week

sinnacu

mayor

sira

evening

sissanta

sixty

sonnu

dream

sordi

money

soru

sister

spagu

string

stidda

star

surdatu

soldier

suttasupra

upside-down

tacchinu

turkey

tagghiari

to cut

tali

such

taliari

to look at

tappitu

rug

tarantula

spider

tartuca

turtle

tauru

bull

tavula

table

telefunu

telephone

televisioni

television

temperatura

temperature

tempu

weather; time

teniri

to hold

terribbili

terrible

terzu

third

ti

yourself

tiatru

theater

timidu

timid

timpesta

storm

tingiuti

dyed

tipu

type

tisoru

treasure

torcicoddu

stiff neck

tradizzioni

tradition

traghettu

ferry

tranquillu

tranquil

trasiri

to enter

tratturia

small restaurant

travagghiari

to work

travirsari

to cross

trenu

train

tri

three

tridici

thirteen

trumma

trumpet

truvari

to find

tu

you

tunnu

tuna

turnari

to turn

tuvagghia di bagnu

beach towel

u

the, it

uguali

equal

ultimu

last

u massimu

most

u megghiu

best

unna

where

unnici

eleven

unu

someone

ura

hour

uragunu

hurricane

urlari

to shout

urtu

shock

usari

to use

utili

useful

vagnatu

wet

vaguni

wagon

valuri

value

vanu

vain

varcocu

apricot

vasari

to kiss

vasciu

low

vasu

kiss

verbu

verb

verificari

to verify

veru

true

viaggiari

to travel

viaggiu

travel

viaggiu di nozzi

honeymoon

vicinu

near

vidiri

to see

vidua

widow

vigliaccu

coward

villaggiu

village

villutu

velvet

vinciri

to win

vinniri

to sell

vinnitta

vengeance

vintusu

windy

vinti

twenty

vinu

wine

virdura

vegetable

virgogna

shame

vistitu

costume; suit

vistu

visa

viteddu

veal

viulinu

violin

vivu

alive

vizziu

vice

volu

flight

voscu

forest

vrazzu

arm

vugghienti

hot

vugghiri

to boil

vuscari

to earn

zainu

backpack

zibbibbu

Sicilian grape

ziu

uncle

zoppu

lame

zuccaru

sugar