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buona notte

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by rossonero, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. rossonero Junior Member

    USA
    Hey all,

    While stumbling through some idiomatic expressions (not idiotic expressions, ragazzi!!) :) I noticed one expression
    "buona notte", used to signify some obvious fact you did not initially see..

    So maybe if you were looking for your hat, and it was on your head the whole time, "ah eccolo" or "buona notte?" is that true? this book seemed a bit old, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm misquoting or if the phrase is no longer in use. is it popular still, or even correct?

    Also, is this more of a feminine expression? Or an expression for certain groups? Not to offend of course! It's just my mom says things like "silly me" that you wouldn't hear my dad say. And then there are things I say...

    Thanks again!
     
  2. fran06

    fran06 Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian Italy
    I'll try to explain it;)
    Lets pretend that I'm explain you what a pen is and after 1 hour of talking you tell me" yes I understand, it's a skirt" I would then say "buona notte"
    meaning you didn't understan I give up, I'll not try to explain it again because it is obviously a waste of time.

    I hope it's clear;)
     
  3. rossonero Junior Member

    USA
    ahh..that makes sense, too. It's basically saying "i'm retiring" (by going to bed). you're giving up on the scenario. ok great!!

    Is this something il gioventu` use? is it used by everyone as a faily common expression? And finally is it outdated?

    thanks!
     
  4. fran06

    fran06 Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian Italy
    It's commonly used by young and old people.
    I use it, but I'm not everyone;)

    Ciao
     
  5. Oyuki New Member

    Tuscany
    Italian Italy


    Agree with Fran!

    So, if I was chatting with you and telling you something, maybe a little complicated, and then I realise that you have completely misunderstood me because you're sleepy or weren't following my ramblings, I would say:
    "Bona..." (short for BUONANOTTE, used in Tuscany) and accompany the word by a gesture of my hand, raised at a head level and waved many times back and forth!!! :p

    It's just one of our colourful expressions...As a good Tuscan I would also point out the idiom "A Lucca ti riveddi!", used in the same way. :D

    Finally, while I often use that idiom with my friends or people of my social class :)warn:), I would not dare address a teacher or my employer with BONAAA!!

    Hope this helps,
    Oyuki
     
  6. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    I have a question about the usage of "buona notte". In some other languages (German comes to mind), a term like "buona notte" would only be used before going to bed or between intimates. Is that also true for Italian or is it more like the English "good night" which can be used in either fashion?

    Thanks.

    Phil
     
  7. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    It's used like in German. The English "good night" can mean either "buona notte" or "buona serata".
     
  8. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Thank you, Ody. I thought it was used in a manner similar to the German but I just wasn't sure. Thank you again for the prompt reply.
     
  9. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    I am not sure about the level of intimacy - the fact of the matter is that if you are with someone in the proximity of going to bed, you are generally intimate with them - but I can also see how you would say "buona notte" , for instance, to a colleague or a person senior to you if you both are in a hotel during say a convention or a business trip and wish each other a good night's sleep even if you are not intimate at all.
     
  10. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    So, the Italian buona notte is more like the English good night than it is the German guten nacht. I think I have it now.
     
  11. longplay Senior Member

    italian
    "Buona notte!" si usa anche con estranei. P.es. io entro in un palazzo alle 11:00 di sera; una persona esce dal palazzo nello stesso momento: non ci sarebbe
    nulla di strano se ci dicessimo "buona notte!".
     
  12. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Thank you, longplay. That makes it very clear.
     
  13. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    I am not sure - it implies that the person you are greeting is actually about to go to bed, regardless of the degree of intimacy between you and them, that's what I was trying to say.

    Here a cashier at Publix etc. will greet me with a "good night" when I leave the store, in Italy the same person would not say "buona notte", because I am not in my pijamas yet :), but she will say "buona sera/serata" or, even more likely, simply "arrivederci".
     
  14. longplay Senior Member

    italian
    Potrebbe usare anche solo "buona notte" o "arrivederci...buona notte!". (Stare o no in pigiama non importa, di solito. Tutto dipende dall' ora in cui siamo.)

    PS "buona sera" in Francia lo dicono spesso fino a mezzanotte e oltre; in Italia è meno comune, a meno che uno non entri in un ristorante o altro molto
    tardi.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  15. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Sooooo, the real answer is (as is usual in Italian), "It depends." Capisco!
     
  16. longplay Senior Member

    italian
    Corretto, MR! Da qui ti potrei dire "buona serata", ma c'è il jet-lag...;)
     
  17. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Buona serata, longplay. Dorma bene!
     
  18. Passante

    Passante Senior Member

    Bologna
    italian
    Ma quindi ad uno che non conoscete che va a dormire in germania non gli dite 'buona notte'? e che gli dite?
    Ps se gli dici buona serata non puoi dirgli poi dorma bene ... :p
     
  19. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    I've heard "buona notte" used in a very idiomatic/ironic sense of "It's over" "the deal is done" "e' finito" "I'm done with that".
    In a similar fashion like we might use "Good night Louise" in AE.
    Is it common, and used across Italy?
     
  20. Passante

    Passante Senior Member

    Bologna
    italian
    Di solito, se raccapezzo a quest'ora, da noi le ironiche con buonanotte si fanno quando un soggetto e' addormentato/stordito/duro di comprendonio/distratto o simili
    esempio:
    la ragazza guardava la vetrina di gioielli mentre lui le parlava dei suoi progetti quando:
    Lui<Ma mi ascolti?>
    Lei<Che???>
    LUI<Si va be' Buonanotte>

    oppure un tipo e' indeciso se mandare una mail con la sua dichiarazione d'amore, finalmente preme ma si accorge che ha sbagliato indirizzo ed esclama 'Buonanotte'

    non mi vengono esempi in cui voglia dire ormai e' fatta tranne forse buonanotte al secchio o buonanotte suonatori, forse li' ci siamo con la tua spiegazione.
     
  21. longplay Senior Member

    italian
    Si usa anche "buona notte al secchio!" che può significare "It's over"> "E adesso...buona notte al secchio!"(idiomatic). Non so perché si dica "al secchio", ma
    è così.
     
  22. Lorena1970

    Lorena1970 Senior Member

    Italy, Italiano
    Concordo che se incontro un vicino di casa in ascensore/per le scale/sul portone che rientra a mezzanotte, quando ci si accommiata gli dico "buona notte", anche se non siamo in pigiama!
     
  23. MR1492

    MR1492 Senior Member

    Bowie, MD
    English -USA
    Thank you all for your assistance. The discussion has been fascinating. I learned more than I expected.

    Phil
     

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