spaghetti

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See also: Spaghetti

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncooked dried spaghetti (sense 1).
Spaghetti (sense 1) that has been cooked.
An aerial view of the Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, a junction on the M6 motorway which was the original one known as “Spaghetti Junction”. Roads forming such a complex junction are often termed spaghetti (sense 3.2).

The noun is borrowed from Italian spaghetti, the plural of spaghetto (dish of spaghetti; (rare) strand of spaghetti),[1] from spago (cord, string, twine; thread) + -etto (diminutive suffix). Spago is derived from Latin spagus (twine), probably from Ancient Greek σφάκος (sphákos, apple sage (Salvia pomifera)), probably from Pre-Greek.

The verb is derived from the noun.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spaghetti (usually uncountable, plural spaghettis)

  1. (countable, uncountable) A type of pasta made in the shape of long thin strings.
    Synonyms: (nonstandard, childish) pasghetti, (nonstandard, childish) sketti, (informal) spag
    1. (by extension, countable, uncountable) A dish that has spaghetti (sense 1) as a main part of it, such as spaghetti bolognese.
      Synonym: (informal) spag
  2. (by extension, countable) Denoting Italianness.
    1. (derogatory, informal) An Italian person.
    2. (film) Ellipsis of spaghetti western (a motion picture depicting a story of cowboys and desperadoes set in the American Old West, but produced by an Italian-based company and filmed in Europe, notably in Italy).
  3. (by extension, uncountable, informal, often attributively) Something physically resembling spaghetti (sense 1) in appearance or consistency, or in being tangled.
    spaghetti grid    spaghetti junction    spaghetti limbs    spaghetti strap    spaghetti stripes
    • 2015 October 30, Edwin Heathcote, “Design horrors: the bad, the ugly and the dysfunctional”, in Financial Times[1]:
      Or how about that spaghetti of cables, adaptors and plugs you keep in a box somewhere, the detritus of old phones, laptops and tablets — each with a different charging point — is that not an example of staggeringly wasteful, bad design?
    • 2021 October 4, Liz Alderman, quoting Mikael Colville-Andersen, “As bikers throng the streets, ‘it’s like Paris is in anarchy’”, in The New York Times[2], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-04-08:
      “But the infrastructure is like spaghetti,” he continued. “It’s chaotic, it doesn’t connect up and there’s no cohesive network. If you can get that right, it will eliminate a lot of confusion.”
    1. (electrical engineering) Electrical insulating tubing or electrical wiring.
    2. (road transport) Roads forming a complex junction, especially one with multiple levels on a motorway.
  4. (uncountable, figuratively, informal) Something confusing or intricate.
    • 2014 February 10, Stephen Heyman, “A Literary Tour on the Blue Danube”, in The New York Times[3]:
      The lands along the Danube, by contrast, seemed wide open. That is, if he could find his way through them. “Arrows drawn on maps build up into an astonishing spaghetti of population movement,” Mr. Winder writes, and a single city like Lviv, now in Ukraine, might also have been called Lemberg, Lemberik, Lwow or Lvov.
    • 2017 May 23, Gavin Haynes, “Why BTS are the K-pop kings of social media”, in The Guardian[4]:
      In an age when the charts have become an algorithmic spaghetti of streaming plays, radio and downloads, the purest way of measuring who is up and who is down in pop might be the Billboard Social 50, a sub-chart that measures reach across social networks.
    • 2023 March 16, Rupak Ghose, “Can payments eat the world?”, in Financial Times[5]:
      Then there’s payments tech. Over the past decade, private equity has been instrumental in consolidating that industry; Worldpay and Nexi serve as two good examples. And while the logic of creating economies of scale was simple, this created a spaghetti of IT technical debt with disparate systems, which hampered the speed of innovation.
    1. (programming, derogatory, informal) Ellipsis of spaghetti code (unstructured or poorly structured program source code, especially code with many GOTO statements or their equivalent).

Usage notes[edit]

Regarding sense 1, an individual strand is usually called a piece of spaghetti or a strand of spaghetti. Rarely it is called a spaghetto, derived from the Italian form.

Derived terms[edit]

Compound words and expressions

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

spaghetti

  1. (rare) plural of spaghetto

Verb[edit]

spaghetti (third-person singular simple present spaghettis, present participle spaghettiing, simple past and past participle spaghettied) (informal)

  1. (transitive)
    1. (humorous) To serve (someone) spaghetti (noun sense 1).
      • 1940 January 19, “Local and General Items”, in The Blairmore Enterprise, volume XXXI, number 3, Blairmore, Alta.: W. J. Bartlett, →OCLC, page 8, column 3:
        Visiting members expected to attend, and all will be properly spaghettied.
      • 1940 April 2, Helen Carstarphen, “Following the Socialites”, in The George Washington University Hatchet, volume 36, number 25, Washington, D.C.: Students of the George Washington University, →OCLC, page 3, column 2:
        Pi Phis spaghettied their mothers and fathers last Saturday evening in the rooms.
    2. To cause (someone or something) to become, or appear to become, longer and thinner; to stretch.
      He spaghettied the referee when he landed on him.
    3. To cause (something) to become tangled.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. (humorous) To eat spaghetti (noun sense 1).
      • 1932, “Foreword”, in Frederick Philip Steiff, compiler, Eat, Drink & Be Merry in Maryland: An Anthology from a Great Tradition, New York, N.Y.: G[eorge] P[almer] Putnam’s Sons, →OCLC, page xvii:
        I have "spaghettied" from Ventimiglia to Brindisi and I doubt if I have ever eaten as excellent spaghetti, certainly none better nor richer, than I have enjoyed in the home of a very charming Maryland hostess.
    2. To become, or appear to become, longer and thinner.
      • 2022 August 30, Thomas Sanders, Samuel Sanders, “Little K, Fire ’Er Up!”, in The Companionship in A Case of OCD, [United Kingdom]: Sanders Sound & Picture, page 361:
        The oldest Lark spaghettied down to a noodle and slithered through the letterbox-like hole at the bottom of the cistern.
    3. To become tangled.
      The cables spaghettied onto the shoulder of the technician.
      • 1977 November, Patty Slingluff, “Christmas Presents!”, in Murray Davis, editor, Cruising World, volume 3, number 11, Newport, R.I.: Cruising World Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 53, column 2:
        These elegant instrument pods will bring all the instruments within eye range of the most nearsighted skipper, keep his bulkhead intact and eliminate all those messy wires spaghettiing around.
      • 1979, Thelma Moss, “Kirlian Beginnings: Being a Tale of Fortuitous Trial and Error, All the Way …”, in The Body Electric: A Personal Journey into the Mysteries of Parapsychological Research, Bioenergy, and Kirlian Photography, Los Angeles, Calif.: J. P. Tarcher; Don Mills, Ont.: Thomas Nelson & Sons, →ISBN, page 78:
        [H]is instrument looked like a Rube Goldberg contraption. It was rigged from electronic bits and pieces, put together with wires that habitually spaghettied out of its grey metal box.
      • 1988 October 8, “Survival”, in The Economist (Canada Survey section), volume 309, number 7571, London: Economist Group, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 16, column 1:
        Canada's cities are different from America's— [] There are no freeways spaghettiing their way through the town.
      • 2005, John Lennard, “Punctuation”, in The Poetry Handbook: A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism, 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 108:
        These four problems, spaghettiing through our minds and bookshelves, make for crippling limitations of literary sensibility.
      • 2006, Richard E[sterhuysen] Grant, The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film, London: Picador, →ISBN, page 11:
        Call it what you will, but as soon as you think you've got your dish ready to serve, it spaghettis all over the place and you have to clean up the mess.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ spaghetti, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2023; “spaghetti, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Italian spaghetti.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spaghetti m (plural spaghettis)

  1. (usually in the plural) spaghetti
  2. strand of spaghetti

Further reading[edit]

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Plural of spaghetto, diminutive of spago (cord, string), from Latin spacus (string).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /spaˈɡet.ti/
  • Rhymes: -etti
  • Hyphenation: spa‧ghét‧ti

Noun[edit]

spaghetti m pl

  1. plural of spaghetto
  2. a dish of spaghetti
  3. fine strings

Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Polish[edit]

Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from Italian spaghetti.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /spaˈɡɛt.ti/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛtti
  • Syllabification: spa‧ghet‧ti

Noun[edit]

spaghetti n (indeclinable)

  1. spaghetti

Further reading[edit]

  • spaghetti in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • spaghetti in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

spaghetti m (plural spaghettis)

  1. Alternative form of espaguete

Swedish[edit]

Swedish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia sv
spaghetti som kokas

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

spaghetti c

  1. spaghetti

Declension[edit]

Declension of spaghetti 
Uncountable
Indefinite Definite
Nominative spaghetti spaghettin
Genitive spaghettis spaghettins

See also[edit]

References[edit]