Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Word of the week- scomparso

Our word of the week is the past participle of the verb scomparire (to disappear). So obviously it means "disappeared," but a secondary use is as a euphemism for "died." So you will find newspaper headlines with wording such as "e' scomparso all'eta' di 92 anni lo scrittore..."- "the writer such and such has disappeared at the age of 92." Another common euphemism is "e' mancato," literally, "is missing."

These tend to be used in writing, whereas Italians will usually use the rather blunt "e' morto" in speech, as opposed to such English phrases as "passed away."