What's in a Word | All Blogs


Hiking ‘bravo’ up a notch

By Debra Dobbins

One of today’s editorials lauds the City Council for approving $3 million to upgrade the Avalon Theatre.

Bravissimo is an Italian word meaning, “excellent or exceedingly well done.” It’s the superlative of bravo, which is, of course, an exclamation of approval. In Italian, bravo is used to praise a male performer, while brava is used to praise a female performer. The superlative of brava is bravissima.

One of the joys of researching words is getting to meander down related semantic paths. Today, while delving into bravissimo, I was reminded of Bravo Zulu, naval (and NATO) jargon that also means “well done.” This message is conveyed by voice or by two flags.

Bravo flag, top, and Zulu flag
Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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