by Barbara Rocci


Ciao! The word ‘gnocchi’ was largely used in Italian dialects before entering the ‘Standard Italian’ language. Gnocchi is a dish but we use the words ‘gnocco and ‘gnocca’ with a figurative meaning. It can happen that you hear Italians saying:


  • Oh quel ragazzo è propio uno gnocco! (that boy is really a fool!)

It is obviously not a compliment and it is largely used in the spoken Italian. We use it, in the masculine and singular form. We also use the words: gnoccolona, gnoccolone with the same meaning.


The feminine, singular of gnocchi is ‘gnocca’, you can hear this word on the road, in bars or similar situations:

  • Emma è proprio una gnocca (Emma is beautiful or a better translation would be Emma is a hotty)


Recently it has become popular to use the singular, masculine form as well with the same meaning of gnocca but of course used for men:

  • Raoul Bova è uno gnocco! (Raoul Bova is hot)



We also use the feminine, singular of ‘gnocchi’ to describe something else, and it is has become popular only recently. Italians use it to identifying the female genitals (it is not a refine expression, remember, it is actually a bad word!).

Eh yes . . . in the video I talk about Roberto Benigni, whom in an old TV program (1991!), with the presenter Raffaella Carrà (she was popular in Italy and Spain), he talks about the names Italians use to call that part of the women body :-).

(the quality of the video is very low but still funny!- but it is really funny)  here is the video  of R. Benigni e R. Carrà if you are curious to watch it:


Why is it important to know the different uses of these words (gnocchi, gnocca, gnocco)?

  • Because when you go to Italy when you watch Italians movies, programmes etc. you can identify the differences between gnocchi (the dish) and other meaning. Learning the spoken Italian helps you to understand Italian and Italians almost like a native. You can actually give the right value to the sentences you hear. Is it not great?


Indeed in one of my online programmes, I help you to understand the spoken Italian and speaking spontaneously, if you want to know more and thinking to enrol discover more here. 



Please leave any comments and do not be shy to ask questions! I am really happy to reply and help 🙂


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