Senior Member
Ciao a tutti.

I'm reading a short story in Italian in which a schoolboy yells out something to taunt a classmate. Then he chuckles and everyone else begins laughing.

...aveva anche fatto un risolino che poi aveva contagiato altri compagni. Un ricacciamento generale.

My attempt:

...he even chuckled a bit, which then spread to our classmates. (A good laugh?) all around.

I can't find the word ricacciamento online. Thanks for any information you can give me.
  • I think that in this context "ricacciamento generale" could mean "collective letting out (of laughter)". Anyway, it is an odd use of the term.
    If ricacciare means to push or drive someone back, could this ricacciamento generale reflect the point of view of the student being taunted? First he's mocked by one boy, and then he feels that the whole class, when they laugh along with his taunter, is pushing him away?
    I wish I could offer more context, but after Un ricacciamento generale, the teacher puts an end to the interruption and it is not mentioned again.
    I noticed that you've translated altri compagni as "our classmates," while the taunter is "he": is the taunted student the narrator of this passage?

    By the way, I have no clue if I'm right -- the native speakers might come back and say it can't possibly mean what I've suggested.:)
    I have a doubt: if it is a scannerized text, could it be an OCR error? "Ridacchiamento" might make sense, instead of "ricacciamento".
    @ theartichoke: Thanks for your suggestion, and I actually mistranslated "our classmates" since the story is told by an omniscient third person narrator and the person being laughed at in class is a young girl.

    I think Mary49 solved the mystery. It must be an error in the text. This is a yet-to-be-published story and I am now convinced the author meant to write "ridacchiamento" since that comes from "ridacchiare" - to chuckle.

    Thanks to all!