Feb 14, 2008

Rapid Rhetoric: AMORETTO

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

amoretto (ahm-oh-REH-toe) n. in art, a small plump boy that represents Cupid.

The word amoretto is a diminutive of the Italian word Amore ("Cupid"), and both words trace their origin to the Latin word amor, meaning "love." Some of you may have jumped to the conclusion that this was related to the Italian liqueur amaretto, but this word is derived from the Italian amaro, meaning "bitter."

Another word for this mythical creature is the putto, often found in Italian Renaissance art. Careful with this term, though: the feminine version of putto is putta, which roughly translates as "slut." Puto and puta carry equally pejorative connotations in Portuguese and Spanish, but I'll let you figure those out on your own, and let's just say that the words have nothing to do with how to lose weight.

Gotta keep it clean for the kiddies, folks, especially on Valentine's Day.


Anonymous said...

I thought it was an almond flavoured licquor

Sergej said...

I'm always a little astonished when I discover "my" italian words in foreign languages... ^__^

Btw, the almond licquor is "amAretto" (it means something like "a little bitter")