Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Word of the week: ricetta

As you know, many words have more than one meaning. So that you must be careful, when looking up words in Italian, that you are in fact translating and thus using the meaning of the word you're looking for.

An example. The word ricetta (ree-CHET-tah). The primary meaning of this word is "recipe," and thus it can be used in many of your food-related Internet searches if you know some Italian. But it also means "prescription." If you think about it, the old-fashioned apothecaries' prescriptions were similar to recipes, and historically, the association of good food and medicine has been a close one.

How can you tell the difference? As usual, from the context. If there is any confusion, a prescription is further distinguished by the phrase "ricetta medica."