/chiàc·chie·ra/ [‘kjak:jere] “kee-uh-kee-ereh”
Words by Bianca Pirrelli
This word is an onomatopoeic voice, which means that the creation of the word is the direct consequence of a sound that expresses the action. The word is, therefore, a sound effect that mimics the thing described, communicating the idea of an action in its entirety. One of the similar sounding words include claque, the French word for clap or crackle.
This onomatopoeic word is the perfect expression to convey the action of chiacchierare, which means to chat, to make small talk.
Although it may be really hard to pronounce at first, this word is fun and versatile. Chiacchierare – the verbal expression connected to the word – means to chat, most likely with someone you care about, maybe at a café or by the fireplace, with a steaming cup of something delicious, enjoying the company and the conversation. It is the kind of simple activity that we often take for granted, but that has the power to warm your heart when shared with friends and family. You can talk about everything and anything. That is why chiacchiere can also refer, depending on the context, to those useless discussions you have, usually about something you will never actually carry out; it can even imply a negative connotation, as in to gossip.
Either way, this word is definitely a word to keep in mind when being among Italians, who are well known for being talkative and expressive. Especially because, if you were to ask Italian people what is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about chiacchiere, anyone would answer the same thing: food, of course! Chiacchiere is, indeed, the name for a kind of sweet, fried, sugar-dusted pastry typically made during carnevale, the Christian festive season that occurs in February.
In the end, whatever meaning you want to give this word, make sure it is a sweet one!
Source Artribune | Original photo by Leonard Kheifets