Pepperoni pizza: avoiding a false cognate in Italy

peperoni pizza italy

We’ve written about “false cognates” (also known as “false friend”) here before.

One of the most common false cognates — words or expressions that have often comically different meanings in Italian and English — is pepperoni pizza.

If you order a pep[p]eroni pizza in Italy, the pizzaiolo will make you a pizza topped with bell peppers (peperoni in Italian).

If you want a pizza like the one above (akin to the American pepperoni, made with salty and sometimes spicy dried sausage, thinly sliced), you need to order a pizza alla diavola, a devil’s style pizza, a name owed to the fact that spicier sausage is generally used in Italy for this type of pizza.

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