The word of the day in our learning Italian post today is “fiasco”.
In Italy, the word “fiasco” generally means a spectacular flop for any performance in theatre or television.
In English we often use it to mean a dramatic mess-up, failure or complete incompetence.
But where does the word fiasco actually come from?The fiasco was the traditional bottle in which Chianti was served, that you will often now see in old Italian trattorias for decoration; they had a straw basket around the base of the squat bottle.
It was used from about 1300 until the advent of the more modern and hygienic glass bottle.
The meaning of the phrase “far fiasco” or to create a flop, is uncertain.
It seems that Domenico Biancolelli, noted “Arlecchino” or harlequin in the 1600’s had a grand flop on stage with a fiasco as a prop, that he then threw away, saying “it’s your fault if they don’t laugh”.