Take a walk around Venice and you’ll be sure to hear accents, languages and dialects. And above all of them will be the singing Venetian dialect. Many words used in Venetian are specific to things that can be found only in Venice. Here is a glossary of the most used words. Keep them up your sleeve and you’ll be sure to impress the residents.
Batèo: vaporetto (water bus)
Caìgo: thick, pea soup fog.
Frìtola: fried doughnut with raisans and pinoli nuts.
Liston: Piazza San Marco is made up of large grey blocks of stone decorated here and there with blocks of white that are called ‘listoni’. To do a ‘liston’ means to go walking around Piazza San Marco.
Mascarero: a person who makes masks.
Nizioleto: (handkerchief) it was part of the head gear of the lower to middle classes and was worn raised up above the head. They also wore cover ups called ‘zendale’ which was a long stole of taffeta. They hid their faces with a ‘moreta’ which was small, oval mask, held together with a button between the teeth.
Pontìl: a type of raft attached to the mainland to which public boats such as the waterbuses pull in to on and offload passengers.
Remèr: a craftsman who produces oars and the very particolar wooden oar rest on a gondola called a forcola.
Risi e bisi: risotto with peas.
Saizàda: this is the name of the first pavemented streets in Venice. They are made up of the typical Venetian, rectangular, grey stones called ‘selce’ or flint.
Sardèle in saòr: this is a sardine dish typical of Venice. The sardines are doused in flour, fried and then laid in a dish with sliced onion, vinegar, pinoli nuts and raisans.