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“Giallo”, what does it means?

Posted in Italian languages and grammar on Sep 04, 2018

“Leggo un giallo”, “guardo un giallo”; literally I read a yellow!, I watch a yellow!

If you are in Italy and you listen to this, don’t worry, they are not going mad!

In Italian it is possible to use the world “giallo” (literally yellow) in the meaning of “detective story”!

The origin of this expression dates back to 1929 when the publishing company Arnoldo Mondadori published a series of detective books that had the cover of this color.

Italians liked this kind of novels a lot and the expression went into the language to mean detective story and later on detective movie!

The first mystery story published in this series was “The strange death of Mr. Benson” These books are sold not just in bookstores, but as well at newsagents and have a bright yellow cover which make them very visible amongst all the other magazines!!!

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Gabriele

I am a 43 years old certified Italian teacher with a degree in politics and a PhD in modern history.