Some Definitions from Florio

This article is by Andrew Draskóy, and can be found on the rendance web site at It may be a useful addition to Urraca's article.


John Florio (1553?-1625) wrote several editions of an Italian-to-English dictionary, some of which include large sections on the grammar and phonetics of the Italian language. The version from which quotes are transcribed below is:

Florio, John: Queen Anna's New World of Words,
Printed by Melch. Bradwood, for Edw. Blount and William Barret. London 1611.
Facsimile edition by The Scolar Press Limited, Menston (England) 1968.

Florio's full title for this edition is: Queen Anna's New World of Words, or Dictionarie of the Italian and English tongues, Collected, and newly much augmented by Iohn Florio, Reader of the Italian unto the Soveraigne Maiestie of Anna, Crowned Queene...

The book is widely available in libraries, but is now out of print. Scolar Press has since been taken over by another publisher, which has no record of this book!

The following definitions are transcribed from the dictionary section. The transcription is not rigorous - it was mostly done quickly for my own convenience, but I thought it would generally be handy. I've mostly converted consonantal "u" and "i" to "v" and "j" and otherwise left things as they were.

The definitions below are some of the ones that I've looked up when attempting to solve Renaissance dance reconstruction problems.


Aèreo, airy, of the nature of aire.

Aeróso, airie, full of aire. Also cheerefull in aspect, full of countenance.

Áere, the aire. Also an aspect, a countenance, a cheere, a looke or apparance in the face of man or woman. Also a tune or aire of a song or ditty. Also a kind of wood good to make oares with.

Agilitáre, to make easie or nimble.

Agilità, agility, nimblenesse, facilitie, dexterity.

Ágile, agile, easie, nimble, light.

Aíère, as Áère or Ária.

Aièróso, airy, as Áèreoso.

Àlto, high, eminent, lofty. Also a treble voice in musike.

Álto, used for broad, Panno álto, broad cloath.

Alzare, to advance, to raise, to hoise, to heave, to rere, to elevate, or lift up.

Alzare al cièlo, to raise to the heavens. Also to commend highly.

Alzáre véla, to hoiste up sailes.

Alzáta, a raising, an advancing, a heaving or lifting up.

Anguíno, snake kind, snake wise.

Ángue, a snake, or an adder.

Anguettáre, to wriggle as a snake.

Anguílla, an Eele or Eelepond.

Ária, as Áère, the Aire.

Arrostáre, to rost or to tost. Also to make wind with some boughs. Also to turne round.

Attegatóre, a dancer on ropes. Also a tumbler, an active man or teacher of nimblenesse.

Atteláne, men that with fowle mouthes, unseemely speeches, disfigured faces, minike gestures and strange actions professe to procure laughter.

Ávito, ancient, left by ancestors.

Baldósa, bolde, saucie. Also a kind of croud or country fiddle. Also a certain country dance.

Balláre, to dance, to hop, to skip.

Bállo, a ball or any kind of dance.

Bállo della bótte, a Christmas game.

Ballaríno, a dancer, or teacher to dance.

Ballónchio, a hand-ball or a foote-ball. Also a country hopping round or morice dance.

Ballonciuólo, a merry skipping dance.

Balzíre, to bound, to jumpe, to skip, to hop.

Bássa, any bottom, vally or low dale.

Bassáre, to abase, to stoope, to descend.

Bótta, a blowe, a stroke. Also a time. Also a toad. Also the working or surging of the sea. Also a fish called a Gull or Millers thumb.

Brándo, a sword. Also a gad of steele. Also a french dance called a bransel or braule.

Bríga, a brable, a braule, a contention.

Cáccia, all maner of hunting or chasing. Also a chace at tennis, or blot at tables.

Caláta, an abating, a descending, &c. Also a falling note. Also a trap dore. Also a fit of mirth.

Cambiáre, to exchange, to change.

Cámbio, a change, an exchange, a stead.

Campeggiáre, to encampe, to beleagre or lie in the field with an army of men. Also to dwell among or frequent the fields. Also to sute, to square with, to become well and seemly as any faine cocke upon or in any field, shield, or banner.

Canárij, a kind of people so called because they feed on dogs. Also Canarians.

Canário, a sacrifice of a red dog, used of ancient to pacifie the dog star.

Caroláre, to caroll, to sing, to revell. Also to dance and be mery.

Castagnétte, little shels used of those that dance the canaries to clacke or snap with their fingers. Also fips or flips with the fingers ends.

Chiaramèlla, a kind of bag-pipe.

Chiarintána, a kinde of Caroll or song full of leapings like a Scotish gigge, some take it for the Almaine-leape.

Chiarintanáre, to dance Chiarantána.

Chirintána, as Chiarantána;

Chiranzána, as Chiarantána;

Ciamèllótto, the weaved stuffe Chamblet.

Continènte, continent, chaste, Also the continent or maine firme land.

Continénza, continencie, chastitie.

Corrènte, running, currant.

Corrènte, a current, a streame, a tide, or channell of a river.

Dánza, a daunce, a ball.

Danzáre, to daunce.

Danzaríno, a dauncer.

Danzatóre, a dauncer.

Dimòra, a demur, a stay, a delay, a lingring, a pause. Also an abiding, or remaining, an habitation, or dwelling.

Fantásma, a ghost, a hag, a spirit, a hobgoblin, a robin-good-fellow. Also the night-mare or riding hag.

Fáre la ruóta del pavóne, to play the proud peacocke, to make shew of all one hath.

Farsétto, a trusse that they weave that have ruptures and are bursten. Also a trusse or sleevelesse thin doublet without skirtes used in Italy in Sommer.

Fráppa, a brag, a boast, a vaunt, a crack. Also a cheating, a cunnicatching, or cozening trick. Also the tongue, the lappat or latchet of any thing. Also a jagge, a cut, or snip in any garment. Also a tearing. Also a beating.

Frappáre, to brag, to boast, to crake, to vaunt. Also to cheate, to cunnicatch, or beguile with overprating. Also to jagge, to snip or cut garments. Also to hale, to tug or drag along the ground. Also to beate, or bang.

, as Féde. Also as Féce, he did or made.

Féde, faith, trust, truth, religion, honestie. Also a ring made with hand in hand. Also a passport, a warrant, a certificate, an assurance.

Furióso, furious, outragious, franticke, mad, enraged, bedlam, raging.

Gagliárda, a dance called a galliard.

Gagliardézza, as Gagliardía.

Gagliardía, lustinesse, galliardise, force, strength or nimblenesse of body.

Gallóne, a mans thigh, hip, or hanch.

Gallóppo, a gallop, or galloping pace.

Gíta, a going, a departing away.

Gíttamato, a casting. Also a sounding.

Humáno, humane. Also civill, affable, courteous, milde, gentle.

Inánzi, before, sooner, rather, eare, liever. Also foremost, beforehand, foreward.

Inánzi, sost. Those that be or stand foremost, that be of the vantgard.

Inchíno, enclined, bended, stooped.

Inchíno, a louting, a reverence, a cursie.

Maniéra, manner, fashion, guise, use, custome, stile or course. Used also for a kind or sort. Also for qualitie. Also for mannerlinesse and civilitie.

Mattacináre, to play or daunce the Mattachíno.

Mattacíni, as Atteláni, a kinde of antique moresco or mattacino dance.

Mattacchíone, a carelesse merry lad.

Menár la dánza, to leade the dance.

Misúra, a measure, a rule, a proportion, a meane, a temper.

Misuráre, to measure, to proportion. Also to ponder, to consider, to proportion.

Módo, manner, fashion, guise, meane, forme, size, rule, measure, way, power, abilitie. Also a Moode of a Verbe.

Móto, a motion, a mooving, or cause of stirring. Also dumbe, mute, or silent.

Morésca, a Morice, or Antique dance.

Moviménto, a mooving, a stirring.

Ombreggiáre, to shade, or cast a shadow. Also to figure, to pourtray, or lineate as Painters.

Ónde, undie, waves, billowes, surges.

Ondeggiaménto, a waving, a billowing.

Ondeggiáre, to wave, to undie, to billow.

Ondeggiatóre di ciambelótto, as Pavoneggiatóre.

Paganína, a kinde of Moris-dance in Italie.

Pavána, a dance called a Paven.

Pavoneggiatóre, a fond gazer or proud courtier and wantonizer of himselfe.

Pavoneggiáre, to gaze fondly, or like a Peacocke proudly to court and wantonize with himselfe.

Passáre, to passe, to passeover, to surpasse, to out-goe, to exceed, to goe beyond. Also to decease or leave this life. Used also for Passeggiáre.

Passeggiáre, to walke or pace for pleasure.

Passéggio, a walke, an allie, a walking place, a turne in walking. Also the noise made in walking.

Passétti, little steps or paces. Also little round buttons or bosses of mettall.

Pássi, paces, steps, streds.

Pásso mèzzo, a cinque-pace, a pace-measure.

Phantásma, a vaine vision, or image of things conceived in the minde, an appearance in a dreame, a false representation.

Piéno, full, filled. Also ample, large, whole, perfect, compleate. Also stored, plenteous, full of, stuft, gorged, glutted. Also a pudding or facing of any meate.

Píva, any kind of pipe or bag-pipe. Also a Piot, a Pie, or Iay. Also a Butterflie. Used also for a mans privy members.

Piantóe, any plant or tree to be set. Also a stocke of a tree to graffe upon. Also any great stake or pile driven in the ground. Also a suddaine slip given to one, a cunning cheating tricke.

Pífara, any kind of pipe, fife or flute.

Pinzócchera, Is properly a woman that voweth chastitie without entring into any religious house. Also a dissembling or Saint-seeming woman.

Pizzicáre, to pinch, to twing, to itch, to smart, to pricke, to snip, to claw or to tetter. Also to hucke, to palter, to dodge, or wrangle.

Pizzicarína, a pretty handsome wench that will make a man itch till he have her.

Pórgere, pórgo, pórsi, porgiúto, or pórto, to reach or yeeld forth, to bring or afford, to lend or give helpe, to offer with ones hand, to stretch, reach or spread out, to jettie, to jut or but forth as some parts of building.

Pósa, a pause, a ceasing, an intermission, a repose, a giving over. Also an abode, a dwelling or resting place.

Posáda, as Pósa.

Rídda, any kind of round Country dance as our Hay dance.

Riddáre, to dance round.

Rigolétto, a country skipping dance, horne-pipe, merrie-round. Also a gigge.

Riprésa, a reproving, a reprehension. Also a takeing or receiving againe. Also a reprisall. Also an answer in musike to begin when another leaves off.

Róta, any kind of wheele. Also a grinding stone, a Millstone. Also any wheeling, turne, or turning round. Also the turne or wheeling of a horse. Also the full spreading of a Peacockes taile. Also a round roule or rowling. Also a kinde of monstrous great fish. Also a kind of torture.

Ruóta, as Róta, a wheele.

Saltarèllo, any little leape. Looke Salto.

Saltétto, as Saltícchio.

Saltícchio, a hop, a skip, a friske, a leap, a jump, a tumbling cast, a sault.

Scambiaménto, a changing, a trucking.

Scambiétti, bartrings, truckings, coarcings or changings of ware for ware. Also friskes, leapings or nimble skippings, tumbling trickes or changings in dancing and tumblings. Also mammockes, scraps, or broken pieces of meat. Also cibols or yongue cives.

Scambio, a change, an exchange. Also liew, place, or stead.

Sciólto, loose, free, at liberty, untide, untangled, unsnared. Also quit, absolved or discharged. Also quick, nimble and full of agility. Also a kind of verse used among the Italians, a loose verse, a blancke verse.

Scórrere, córro, córsi, córso, to runne over, to runne heere and there, to gad or wander to and fro. Also to peruse over slightly. Also to slide or glide upon the Ise.

Scórsa, a running. Also as scorriría.

Scóssa, a shaking, a tottring, a tumbling, a rumbling, a trembling.

Scósso, shaken, tossed, totred, rumbled.

Scossóre, to shake, to tosse, to totter. Also to brandish in the aire.

Soáve, sweet or pleasant in taste, smelling or hearing, delicious, soote. Also soft or smooth in touching. Also curteous and milde in behaviour. Used also adverbially, sweetly, gently, softly, smoothlie.

Spína di pésce, the chine-bone of a Fish.

Spína pésce, a kind of tacke, tache, claspe or tenter-hooke.

Stampíta, as Stampináta. Also wearinesse.

Stampináta, a fit of mirth or fidling. Also a kind of country dancing, singing or fidling anciently used in Italie.

Striáto, bewitched. Also screeched. Also chamfred, chaneled, or wrought inward with a winding.

Strisciáre, to streake or draw out in lines or streakes. Also to sleeke or make smooth. Also to slide or glide upon ice. Also to drag, to traile, to creepe or craule along the ground. Also to currie, to rub, or smooth a horse. Also to make a trampling noise with ones feet as Canarie dancers use. Also to lay a counterfeit colour on any thing or paint as women doe their faces.

Suáve, as Soáve, sweet, pleasant.

Surgènte, rising, springing or growing up. Also riding at anchor as a ship.

Tordiglióne, a kind of dance in Spaine.

Trascórsa, a running over, thorow, beyond or from, a running or questing to and fro. Also a passing over slightly or quickly.

Trascórso, overrun, run thorow or beyond, outrun. Also perused over a book. Look Trascórre.

Tripudiáre, to dance or trip on the toes.

Tripúdij, dancings or trippings on the toes.

Tripúdio, a kind of tripping dance.

Trótto, a trot, or trotting pace.

Villanáta, any kinde of Country song, gigge, or dance. Also a Country tricke or clownish part. Also a kind of Country water grewell for the poore.

Villanèlla, a pretty Country-lasse, a handsome or yongue Country-wench, a yongue Sheepheardesse, a Milkemaide. Also any Country dance, gig, roundelay, song, ballad, dance or hornpipe, such as Country wenches sing.