Meaning of ABBIOCCO in Italian

What’s the meaning of the funny-sounding word abbiocco in Italian?

Read on to find out how to pronounce this word along with some example sentences!

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What does abbiocco mean in Italian?

In Italy, abbiocco is that drowsy or sleepy feeling that often comes after a big meal, especially one that’s rich in carbohydrates. The feeling can be so intense that it might make you want to take a nap, pisolino or pennichella. It has no direct translation into English and it’s a colloquial term. The scientific term to describe the feeling is sonnolenza post-prandiale.

How do you pronounce it?

Abbiocco
Drowsy and sleepy feeling after a big meal

The pronunciation of abbiocco in Italian is similar to ahb-bee-OHK-koh. Abbiocco is believed to have its roots in the word chioccia which means “broody hen” in Italian, because of its huddled position to hatch eggs. Be careful not to add a -w sound to the final -o. Italian vowel sounds are clean.

a hen with three chicks

For example, you can say:

Quando mangio un piatto di pasta per pranzo ho sempre un abbiocco terribile.
When I eat a plate of pasta for lunch, I am always terribly drowsy.

Il caldo estivo mi fa venire l’abbiocco.
The summer heat gives me food coma.

Anche un pasto leggero può causare un piccolo abbiocco.
Even a light meal can cause a small bout of drowsiness.

drowsy woman at work

Origins of abbiocco in Italian

We said that abbiocco likely originated from chioccia, and the same can be said for the verb abbioccarsi, a reflexive verb in Italian that means to become drowsy or to feel sleepy, to doze off. This verb means “to become a brooding hen” and it originates from the Roman dialect verb abbioccàsse.

Like abbiocco, it’s only used in colloquial settings. For example, you can say:

Mi sono abbioccato durante la lezione di storia.
I dozed off during history class.

More often than not, however, abbiocco is used instead of the verb:

Se dormi poco, rischi di avere un abbiocco sul lavoro.
If you get little sleep, you risk dozing off at work.

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.

Now that we’ve covered the meaning of abbiocco in Italian, you’re ready to put your skills to the test and start using it in your sentences!


What next?

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