Halloween is coming, so to help get you in the mood for fantasmi (ghosts) and streghe (witches), let’s look at some Italian vocabulary for Halloween.
Things that go bump in the night
Are you travestendo (dressing up, disguising yourself) as anything this year? Kids aren’t the only ones who wear costumi (costumes). Some of the classics to dress as are una mummia (a mummy), un lupo mannaro (a werewolf), un morto vivente (a zombie), un mostro (a monster), un diavolo (a devil), or un vampiro (a vampire). But not everyone wants to dress as something pauroso (scary). You could also be uno spaventa passeri (a scarecrow), un stregone (a sorcerer), una fata (a fairy), una principessa (a princess), or a un personaggio (a character) from a popular movie. Some people get very creativo (creative) and dress as something from evento attuale (current events) or di cultura popolare (from pop culture). Or with immaginazione (imagination), the list goes on, and a lot of the time you have to indovinare (guess) at the meaning of a costume.
Per i bambini (For the Kids)
Kids in the US go trick-or-treating, and there’s a lot of Italian vocabulary for Halloween that we can talk about here. They walk around their neighborhood and bussano alle porte (knock on doors). When someone answers, they hold up their buste (bags) and ask for caramelle (candy). If the person doesn’t give the kids candy, they might get a trick. Since no one needs to give kids any more ideas about marachella (mischief) we’ll leave that to your imagination. Meglio prevenire che curare (better safe than sorry.) Best just to make sure you have enough candy.
Per gli adulti (For the Adults)
Halloween isn’t just for kids. Adults also like to get dressed up. Do you wear your costume (costume) to work? Or maybe you go to una festa (a party) where everyone is dressed up. Even if you don’t go to any parties, you probably get a zucca (pumpkin) for a jack-o-lantern. You’ll carve a faccia (face) into it, and put a candela (candle) inside so the face glows.
Ho paura/Sono spaventato (I’m Scared)
Halloween is a great time of year to watch film dell’orrore (horror movies) or maybe visit una casa stregata (a haunted house). It’s fun to urlare (scream), as long as the incubi (nightmares) aren’t too bad. Now that the summer is over and la notte (the night) is longer, it’s the perfect time to visit i luoghi spaventosi (spooky/eerie places) for some good Halloween fun. Walk through I boschi (the woods) nel buio (in the dark), take a shortcut through il cimitero (the graveyard), visit that case abbandonate (abandoned house) where you know there are probably no fantasmi (ghosts). But you hear strani rumori (strange noises) and see things move con la coda dell’occhio (out of the corner of your eye), so you really never can be sure.
Whatever you do for Halloween, stay safe, and buon divertimento (have fun!) Looking to build some more Italian vocabulary? Check out this post on ordering coffee, or this one on talking about social media. And if you’d like to learn Italian with the Language Garage, sign up for a free, no-obligation trial here.