Cualacino is a word that has been appearing on many lists of "words that don't appear in the English language", or worse "untranslatable words".


"The mark left on a table by a cold glass."


There are two problems with this. Perhaps the more serious of the two errors is that we commonly say, in English, that "the glass left a ring on the table". Ring in this case clearly does not refer to jewelry or doorbells -- it refers to the mark left on the table by a cold glass.

So cualacino does indeed have a direct English translation. Perhaps more interesting, however, is that cualacino is always said to be Italian, despite the fact that Italian dictionaries do not have any such word. This is a clear indication of the amount of effort put into these word lists. However, it is an explicable error: Italian does have the word culaccino, which does indeed refer to a condensation ring. It also refers to end bits of a salami, crusts of bread, and the dregs in a glass... basically the kipple of a meal, or what more traditional English speakers might call table scraps.

So to summarize... in Italian, you might use the same word to refer to table scraps and the general mess left on the table after eating. You might also come across English speakers with terrible spelling and poor vocabularies.

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