BUONANOTTE meaning and pronunciation in Italian

What does buonanotte, also spelled as buona notte, mean in Italian?

As you will see in this lesson, there’s more than one scenario in which you can use this word. We will take a look at its different meanings and see how it is pronounced. Hopefully this lesson won’t make you sleepy (read on and you’ll see why)! 😉

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Buonanotte meaning and pronunciation

Buonanotte is the Italian translation for good night.

It’s a compound word. That’s why you can also write it as buona notte, where buona means good and notte means night.

meaning of buonanotte - good night in italian - boy sleeping soundly in a bed with light blue covers

So, how do you pronounce it?

Buonanotte, buona notte
Good night

Its pronunciation is similar to boo-oh-nah not-teh. Make sure your t has a longer sound than a t as in “attack” (see how to pronounce all Italian consonant clusters here), and remember not to add any -y sound to the final -e. Italian vowels are clean.

If you are lazy enough, you can drop the buona part and just say…

‘notte!
‘ night!

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.


Buona notte e sogni d’oro

Buona notte e sogni d’oro
Good night and sweet dreams

When Italians wish someone a good night, they say buona notte e sogni d’oro, which literally means good night and golden dreams.

You read that right: it’s golden dreams (oro is gold), not sweet dreams. Sweet is translated as dolce in Italian, but we don’t usually wish people dolci sogni.

sogni d'oro - kid sleeping and dreaming of fighting godzilla

It’s customary for family members to wish everyone living under the same roof a good night. To wish in Italian is desiderare, from desiderio, wish or desire, but the expression “to wish a good night” in Italian translates somewhat differently.

Dare la buonanotte
To wish a good night
Literally: to give a good night

The expression is actually introduced by the verb dare, which means to give!

If you have small children and are used to kissing them good night when they go to bed, you can say:

Dare il bacio della buonanotte
To give a good night kiss
Literally: to give the kiss of good night

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!


Other meanings of buonanotte in Italian

Are there other meanings of buona notte other than good night? Yes, there are.

Buonanotte al secchio!
It’s all over! And that’s that!
Literally: good night to the bucket!

Buona notte al secchio is a colloquial expression that can be literally translated as “good night to the bucket”, with secchio meaning bucket.

it's all over - kid crying because he cannot solve a problem

If a project of yours is doomed to fail or there’s no way out of a problem, you can use this expression to vent your pessimism. By saying buona notte al secchio, you’re essentially saying there’s nothing left for you to do but watch it all fall apart.

Buonanotte ai suonatori!
It’s all over! And that’s that!
Literally: good night to the players!

This is another common expression, similar to buonanotte al secchio. Suonatore is someone who plays a musical instrument. The origin of this saying is debated, but it has the same meaning as the one above.

Did you know? There’s a song by Pooh called Buonanotte ai suonatori!

Now that we’ve covered all the possible meanings of buona notte in Italian, you can put your skills to the test and wish your family and friends a buona notte!


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say buonanotte in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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