The A words are kind of aggro

by Bernard O'Shea

In English the A words tend to convey intellectual sentiments and mental states: angry, aroused, aspire, assert, apprehensive, activate, against, analyze, advise, agitate, agree, alive, alone, alert, anxious, alleviate, appal, approve, arrogant, assert, agonise, absurd, accuse, accept, acknowledge, addictive, attack. There seems to be a lot of sly manoeuvring involved, even aggression.

For the Quirky Vocabulary series, I flip through my Romance language dictionaries to find a word that leaps out at me for some reason, be it the sound or the notion behind it, probably both. In this instance, the words I chose also seemed to be a big aggressive. It’s no reflection on my personality, I assure you.

FRENCH: achaler, to hassle, to bug. Achale-moi pas, don’t bug me!

ITALIAN: abbuffarsito stuff oneself; abbuffata, a nosh-up, binge, blow-out; farsi un’abbuffata, to stuff oneself.

PORTUGUESE: abocanhar 1) to bite or bite off; 2) to snap at; 3) tear with teeth; 4) to eat, swallow, devour; 5) to seize possession of; 6) to slander, defame. Homen de má lingua que abocanha toda gente, a foul-mouthed, slanderous man.

ROMANIAN: antropofagman-eater.

SPANISH: andanada, 1) a broadside; 2) a reprimand or rebuke; 3) a covered stand. Echar/soltar una andanada, to say something out of the blue

On the other hand…

…. it’s not all agitation and aggression. We all know that when a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie,
that’s amore – the Italian word for love.

  • French has accueil, welcome
  • Spanish has acariciar, to caress
  • Portuguese has alegre, happy, joyful
  • Romanian has afectuos, affectionate

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