Italian speakers - and learners - will be familiar with each of the following words, and probably use them on a regular basis, but do you know where they come from?
Italia | Italy
Where does Italy get its name from? The most likely theory is that it comes from the word 'víteliú', which meant 'calf' in the extinct Oscan language, which was spoken in southern Italy. From this, the Latin word 'vitulus' referring to a young calf, evolved - and so did 'Italia', which likely meant something along the lines of 'land of cattle'.
This referred at first to southern Italy, which did indeed have plenty of cattle, and had the bull as its symbol in contrast to Rome's symbol of the wolf. Slowly over time, 'Italia' came to refer to the peninsula as a whole.
Ragazzo | Boy
'Raggazzo' likely came into the Italian language from Arabic, and derives from the Arabic word 'raqqa sò', which meant 'messenger boy' and is still used in some regions of northern Africa to mean 'postman'. Lots of Arabic words came to Italy in the 14th century, most of them related to trade (many food items, for example 'zucchero' and 'caffe' have Arabic origins). From there, it transformed into Latin 'ragazium' and then Italian 'ragazzo', and the meaning got diluted so that now it simply means 'boy'.