Slogan for the Olive Garden chain of restaurants. It seems to be a conglomeration of the English word "hospitality" and "italiano," the Italian word for, uh, "Italian." As the bastard offspring of two languages, it has little meaning in any language. As ridiculous as it sounds in English, in Italian it makes even less sense. The Italian word for "hospitality" is "ospitalitá," making the "h" extraneous. The ending "-ano" in Italian usually indicates a third person present tense verb, but the usage of the word in English ("now that's hospitaliano!") clearly shows that it's intended to be a noun. In other words, you will never, ever hear an Italian person use this word. At least, not without tongue firmly planted in cheek.

So it's not a word that screams authenticity. But it sounds vaguely Italian, in a non-threatening, Tony Danza sort of way. It says to Americans, "We don't care if you can pronounce the names of our entreés, and you don't care what real Italian cuisine is like as long as we keep the free breadsticks coming." This demonstrates that things that make no sense anywhere else can make a lot of sense in advertising/marketing.

The sheer idiocy of the word makes it fun to say, and it's an interesting challenge to try and work it into everyday conversation. Here are a few possible usages, ones I have had some success with:

As a threat: "Don't make me come over there and show you some hospitaliano!"

As an innuendo: "Hey baby, why don't you come over here and show me some hospitaliano?"

As an expletive: "Holy fucking hospitaliano!"

This list is by no means comprehensive. I'm sure you'll come up with your own uses; you are creative.

Albert Herring points out that "-ano" is also "a perfectly respectable adjectival morpheme," which I hadn't considered. I still think it's intended to be a noun; in the PR stuff I've read, phrases like "experience the heritage of hospitaliano" and "cuisine prepared with hospitaliano" make a lot more sense if it's a noun. Either way, I think we can all agree it still sounds awfully stupid.

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