Auguri comes from the verb augurare which means ‘to wish’. Auguri literally means ‘well wishes’ and can be used:
- to say happy birthday, in fact the song ‘happy birthday to you’ in Italian is tanti auguri a te!
- as an equivalent of ‘congratulations’, for successes in life such as new job, baby, house, anniversary
- during general celebrations e.g. Christmas, New Year, Mothers’ Day, Easter. It is possible a fuller expression may be used such as: Auguri di Buon Natale or Auguri di Buona Pasqua
- to offer best wishes, in advance of something difficult, when you may say ‘good luck’
- to wish someone ‘all the best’
Auguri is a plural noun, and will often be accompanied by tanti, to mean ‘many well wishes’.
Fare gli auguri means ‘to shout good wishes’ / ‘to cheer’ / ‘to congratulate’ and a biglietto di auguri is a ‘greeting card’.
Alesha Allen is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs group Italian immersion courses at Italian restaurants and cafes such as Nonna Rosa’s in Coulsdon, and private lessons throughout London. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website is www.italianmasterclass.co.uk.