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See also: Finocchio


Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Italian finocchio (fennel; (derogatory) male homosexual). Doublet of fennel.



finocchio (plural finocchi or finocchios)

  1. A fennel cultivar with a bulb-like structure at its base, used as a vegetable; Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum).
    Synonym: Florence fennel
    • 1974, Ali-Bab (author) and Elizabeth Benson (translator), Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy, page 41
      Finocchios are shoots of the fennel, an odoriferous plant of the Umbelliferae family.
    • 1981, Country Life, volume 170, page 1,057:
      For the first time, finocchio, or Florence fennel, has performed for me as it should and has swollen out into bulbous protrusions at the base of its leaf stalks.
    • 1983, Theodore James, The Gourmet Garden, page 44:
      The strong anise odor of finocchio repels many insects from other vegetables.
    • 1994, B. Rosie Lerner, Beverly S. Netzhammer, Possum in the Pawpaw Tree: A Seasonal Guide to Midwestern Gardening, page 43:
      Also called Florence fennel, finocchio has long been a popular vegetable in Europe but has somehow fallen out of circulation from most American gardens.
  2. (derogatory, slang) A male homosexual.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:male homosexual
    • 2008, Edward Anthony Gibbons, A Cultural Affair, page 6:
      On many, a cold freezing night, of temperatures hovering near zero, the finocchios tease and try to encourage Tedesco to join in their warm body orgies.
    • 2009, Paul MacKenzie, Redemption Comes to Brooklyn, page 172:
      Not to mention, he and Julie were finocchios; but at least Larry was a smart finocchio.
    • 2010, Suzanne Corso, Brooklyn Story, page 182:
      “Don’ stand next to any finocchios who might try’n grab your best friend,” Vin cracked. Richie roared as Tony made his way to the men’s room.
    • 2011 August 19, Jane Espenson, Torchwood: Miracle Day, episode 7: “Immortal Sins”, 23:51–23:57
      Salvatore Maranzano: Rumour is you two are a pair of finocchi.
      Captain Jack Harkness: That’s not a rumour; that’s a boast.



  • ‖ Finochio” listed on page 237 of volume IV (F and G), § i (F) of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [1st ed., 1901]
    Finochio (finǫ·kio). Also 8 fenochia, -io, -occhio, finocha, finochi, 8–9 fin(n)ochia. [It. finocchio: — popular L. fēnoclum: see Fennel.] The sweet fennel (Fœniculum dulce); also called the dwarf or French fennel. [¶] 1723 R. Digby Let. to Pope 14 Aug. How spring the Brocoli and the Fenochio. 1767 J. Abercrombie Ev. Man own Gardener (1803) 658/1 Finochio, or French fennel; for soups, sallads, etc. 1796 C. Marshall Garden. xvi. (1813) 267 Finochio is a sort of dwarf fennel. 1847 Craig, Finnochia, a variety of fennel.
  • ‖finochio” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd ed., 1989]



From Late Latin fēnuculum (contracted to a later Vulgar Latin form *fenuclum), from a diminutive of Latin fēnum. The slang sense is of Tuscan origin and probably derives from the archaic meaning “worthless person”, although many different folk etymologies exist.[1]


  • IPA(key): /fiˈnɔk.kjo/
  • Rhymes: -ɔkkjo
  • Hyphenation: fi‧nòc‧chio


finocchio m (plural finocchi)

  1. (botany) fennel
    Synonym: (Venetian slang) fenocio
  2. (slang, vulgar, derogatory) queer, poof, nancyboy, faggot [from 1863]
    Synonyms: omosessuale, (Venetian slang) fenocio, frocio, ricchione
  3. (archaic) bungler (incompetent or worthless person)

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Albanian: finok
  • English: finocchio
  • Greek: φινόκιο (finókio)


  1. ^ Giovanni Dall'Orto ((Can we date this quote?)) “Finocchio”, in Storia di undici termini relativi all'omosessualità

Further reading[edit]