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3 bothersome synonyms: disturbo, fastidio, noia

Let's look at three words that can mean pretty much the same thing. They all have to do with bother.

nouns: il disturbo, il fastidio, la noia  

verbs: disturbare, dare fastidio, dare noia

adjectives: fastidioso, noioso



il disturbo - disturbare

The easiest word to understand is the verb disturbare. It looks similar to the English word "to disturb" and is a true cognate. But the noun il disturbo (the disturbance, the interruption) is used a lot, too. 

Ci scusi il disturbo, il commissario Manara vorrebbe farle qualche domanda.

Please excuse the interruption; Commissioner Manara would like to ask you few questions.

Caption 3, Il Commissario Manara S1EP1 - Un delitto perfetto - Part 12

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When we feel we have overstayed our welcome or we feel it's time to leave, we can say:

Noi allora togliamo il disturbo. Dovesse venirvi in mente qualcosa, chiamateci.

We'll leave you then [we'll take away the disturbance]. If anything should come to mind, call us.

Captions 78-79, I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone EP2 Rabbia - Part 3

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When you have a medical problem, such as an upset stomach, you can refer to it as un disturbo (an ailment).


We've learned that it's polite to say Permesso (may I come in or "Is it permissible to come in?") when entering an office or someone's home, but sometimes there is another kind of situation, such as a phone call and you want to know if it's a good time... Disturbo (am I disturbing you)?


Carissima. -Ti disturbo? -Ma quando mai.

Dearest. -Am I disturbing you? -Not in the least.

Captions 33-34, I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone EP1 I Bastardi - Part 7

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We can use disturbare reflexively (disturbarsi) to mean "to go to the trouble."

Ma non ti disturbare, chiamo un taxi.

Don't go to any trouble. I'll call a cab.

Caption 12, Provaci ancora prof! S1E4 - La mia compagna di banco - Part 8

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Il fastidio - fastidioso

Il fastidio is a noun, and we usually say dare fastidio (to be a bother, to bother), literally, "to give bother." 


When a health worker is about to give you an injection, he or she might say,

Questo ti darà un po' fastidio (this will pinch just a bit). 


Eh, finché sono fuori e non danno fastidio, signora.

Eh, as long as they're outside and they're not bothering anyone, Ma'am.

Caption 5, Provaci ancora prof! S2E5 Vita da cani - Part 2

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Ma mica è un gatto, scusa. Che fastidio ti ?

But she's not a cat, pardon me. How is she bothering you?

Caption 4, Sposami EP 2 - Part 4

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We can also use the adjective fastidioso. This can refer to a noise, such as the noise of a blender or coffee grinder, or too much light, when you open the shutters on a sunny morning. It can be a sensation, as when you are testing for Covid and you or someone sticks a swap up your nose. 

È davvero molto fastidioso. Hai ragione".

It's really very bothersome. You are right."

Caption 73, COVID-19 5) I tamponi

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It can often refer to a very specific pain, like a mosquito bite, or the prick of a needle.


Il fastidio and fastidioso are very common words, but in certain parts of Italy, such as Tuscany, they use the la noia and noioso to mean pretty much the same thing. 

Erano alberi che davano noia e basta, e quindi questo è l'ultimo rimasto,

They were trees that were a bother and nothing more, and so this was the last one remaining,

Captions 30-31, Gianni si racconta L'olivo e i rovi

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Ah, quanto siete noiosi.

Ah, you are all so annoying.

Caption 23, Non è mai troppo tardi EP 2 - Part 16

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For more about noioso, see this lesson, because if you look up noioso in the dictionary, it will say "boring." So the context will help you determine if something is annoying, bothersome, or boring. Sometimes it's all three. But perhaps annoying is the most similar word in terms of sound, so it might be the easiest to remember. 


Now that you are tuned into these words, notice how they're used in Yabla videos. When you see and hear a sentence that can be applied to a familiar situation, write it down, say it, try to make it your own. 


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