Italian word for the week: Abbiocco

In Italy, food is at the heart and soul of every gathering, and sharing a meal with loved ones is an art form. But how can you describe the feeling afterwards? This word will help…

couple experiencing 'abbiocco' after big meal

Picture this: you’ve just devoured a hearty, Italian meal that leaves you feeling as lazy and content as a cat basking in the sun.

That’s the essence of the Italian word abbiocco – which has no direct translation in English.

Taken literally, it can translate to ‘drowsiness’, but that doesn’t fully encompass the rich and oh-so-Italian meaning behind abbiocco. 

Abbiocco specifically refers to the drowsiness that occurs after enjoying a hearty and abundant meal, capturing that feeling of satisfaction and contentment mixed with a sense of drowsiness that comes from indulging in a large, delicious feast.

In English, the closest translation would be ‘food coma’ which, while apt, doesn’t quite capture the grace and warmth of abbiocco.

The origin of the word Abbiocco is uncertain, but there are some interesting theories. One theory suggests that it might have originated from the term abbacucco, which means a feeling of fullness or satiety. Over time, the word evolved into Abbiocco to specifically refer to the post-meal drowsiness.

Another theory links the word Abbiocco to the verb abboccare, which means to fall asleep lightly or to doze off. The connection could have been drawn from the tendency to feel sleepy or dozy after a fulfilling meal.

Example sentences using “Abbiocco”

  • Dopo quella straordinaria cena di Natale, tutti erano presi dall’Abbiocco e avremmo voluto solo sdraiarci sul divano.
    After that extraordinary Christmas dinner, everyone was in the food coma, and we just wanted to lie down on the couch.
  • Mia nonna prepara sempre dei pasti così abbondanti che, dopo pranzo, sperimentiamo sempre l’Abbiocco.
    My grandmother always prepares such abundant meals that, after lunch, we always experience the food coma.
  • Durante la passeggiata nel pomeriggio, ho iniziato a sentire l’Abbiocco a causa del gustoso pranzo che avevo appena finito.
    During the afternoon walk, I started feeling the food coma due to the delicious lunch I had just finished.

The word abbiocco is a part of Italian culture and language, and it reflects the importance of food and the pleasure of sharing meals with loved ones in Italian traditions.

After a sumptuous lunch or dinner, it is not uncommon to experience this pleasant drowsiness, where one may feel inclined to rest or take a short nap to allow the body to digest the satisfying meal.

Mangia bene and enjoy every moment of the Abbiocco aftermath.

Learn more Italian words by browsing our archives

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