In a previous post, we analyzed how linguine means "little tongues". Well, spaghetti as a whole means "little cords". Let's find out how. In Italian, spaghetti means "strings", which makes a lot of sense, as the pasta obviously looks stringy. This is actually plural for spaghetto, which means "string", singular. Now, this is a diminutive of spago, meaning "cord", implying that string is a little cord, and that comes from Latin spacus, meaning "twine". This is thought to be from Ancient Greek spakhos, with the same definition. The phrase spaghetti strap was coined in 1972, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been a thing since 2006, spaghettification has been used as a term in astrophysics for decades, and spaghetti western was first attested in 1969. Usage of the word spaghetti has been steadily increased since it was first introduced in 1849.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.