Etymology
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al dente (adv.)
1935, Italian, literally "to the tooth," from Latin dentem (nominative dens) "tooth" (from PIE root *dent- "tooth"). Italian al represents a contraction of words from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + ille "that" (see le).
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Punchinello (n.)

popular puppet of Italian origin; see Punch.

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violinist (n.)
1660s, from Italian violinista, from violino (see violin).
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Moresco (adj.)

"Moorish, of Moorish design or imitation of Moorish work," 1550s, from Italian moresco, from Moro (see Moor). As a type of Italian dance, 1620s. Compare Morisco, which is the Spanish form.

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sbirro (n.)

Italian police officer, 1660s, from Italian, "police officer, constable" (plural sbirri), from Late Latin birrus "red," from Greek pyrros "red," literally "fire-colored," from pyr "fire" (from PIE root *paewr- "fire"). With unetymological prefix (compare Spanish esbirro "henchman, minion," also Italian sbarra "barrier, cross-bar," etc.). Probably so called from the original color of the uniform.

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mozzarella (n.)

kind of soft, white Italian cheese originally made in Naples area, 1911, from Italian mozzarella, diminutive of mozza "slice, slice of cheese," from mozzare "to cut off," from Vulgar Latin *mutius "cut off, blunted," which is related to Latin mutilus "maimed" (see mutilation). There is an isolated 1881 use, as an Italian word in English, in a U.S. consulate report from Italy.

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salami (n.)

type of salted, flavored Italian sausage, 1852, from Italian salami, plural of salame "spiced pork sausage," from Vulgar Latin *salamen, from *salare "to salt," from Latin sal (genitive salis) "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt").

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risotto (n.)
rice cooked in broth with meat and cheese, 1848, from Italian risotto, from riso "rice" (see rice). At first in Italian contexts; it begins to appear in English cookery books c. 1880.
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cinquecento (n.)

also cinque-cento, "the sixteenth century" (in reference to Italian art and literature), 1760, from Italian cinquecento, literally "500," short for mil cinquecento "1500." See cinque + hundred, and compare quattrocento. Also as an adjective.

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Irredentist (n.)
1882, member of Italian political party formed 1878 which demanded the annexation of neighboring regions where a part of the population was Italian-speaking (Trieste, South Tyrol, Nice, Corsica, etc.); from Italian Irredentista, from irredenta (Italia) "unredeemed (Italy)," fem. of irredento, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + redento, from Latin redemptus, past participle of redimere (see redemption). Related: Irredentism.
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