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Italian Language/use of "rosso" and "rossa"

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Dear Maria,

My question is about the noun “rosso”.

I understand that the masculine noun “rosso” is used to refer to the color “red”.    But, I was wondering if the noun “rosso” is also used to refer to a person who has red hair (called a “redhead” in English)  and/or also to a person who is a left-winger or communist  (informally sometimes called a “red” in English).

If this is correct, would I then be correct to say the following:

rosso  = a man with red hair  (called a “redhead” in English) and/or a man who is a left-winger or communist  (informally sometimes called a “red” in English)

rossa = a woman with red hair  (called a “redhead” in English)
and/or a woman who is a left-winger or communist (imformally sometimes called a “red” in English)

Thank you very, very much for your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

you are right: the word “rosso” is used to refer to the color “red”, but it’s also used to refer to a person who has red hair (called a “redhead” in English)  and/or also to a person who is a communist  (informally sometimes called a “red” in English), while a left-winger person is called  “un socialista” or “uomo /donna di sinistra”  for he/she supports the beliefs of the political left, i.e. the idea that the government should allow the people to share money and opportunities equally.

So,  it would  then be correct to say the following:

rosso  = a man with red hair  (called a “redhead” in English) and/or a man who is communist  (informally sometimes called a “red” in English).

rossa = a woman with red hair  (called a “redhead” in English) and/or a woman who is a  communist (informally sometimes called a “red” in English), although to use “rossa” in the feminine to indicate a communist woman is not so common.

See for example: “Il mio amico è un rosso” (My friend is a red);”I rossi potrebbero vincere le elezioni”( The red could win  local elections); “Ti piace quella rossa?” (Do you like that redhead girl?);”In politica è una rossa” ( In politics she is a red).


Best regards,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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