31 - Spiringuacchio

Episode XXXI


(spee – reen – goo – ACK – kee – oh)

The literal meaning of this term is “scribble”, referring to the doodles one typically does to check if a pen still works, or when he’s focusing on something else and his hand wanders. In a more broad meaning, however, it can also refer to a badly written piece of text, a horrible picture or, in general, something ugly that has been committed to paper.

The word comes from the original term inguacchio, which means dirt, soil, filth: it was usually employed to refer to the ink stains that a writer, absent-mindedly, would leave on paper while using pen and inkpot; with the advent of ball-point pens, the prefix spir- was added to indicate the spiralling movement one would do to test the working of a pen. As the circular doodles lacked grace, it was still an inguacchio, but in spiral form!

The term, then, widened its significance: since the doodles were without merit, by extension the word came to identify any piece of work transmitted to paper: spiringuacchi are the drawings that very young boys and girls do with crayons, spiringuacchi are the bad lyrics of a wanna-be wordplayer who still has a lot to learn, spiringuacchi are the scribbles that a certain someone writes on the small surface of a post-it trying to convey the most information he can muster, in a terrible show-off of abysmal graphy. Pity that guy.

Finally, the term spiringuacchio can be used as a mild insult to underline someone’s ugliness. That’s not the sharpest of the offenses, but when it comes to insulting everything goes. Just don’t challenge the Sword Master of Melee Island armed only with this or you’ll lose for sure!



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