Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Italian finocchio (fennel; (derogatory) male homosexual). Doublet of fennel.



finocchio (plural finocchi or finocchios)

  1. A fennel cultivar with a bulb-like structure at its base, used as a vegetable; Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum).
    Synonym: Florence fennel
    • 1974, Ali-Bab (author) and Elizabeth Benson (translator), Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy, page 41
      Finocchios are shoots of the fennel, an odoriferous plant of the Umbelliferae family.
    • 1981, Country Life, volume 170, page 1,057
      For the first time, finocchio, or Florence fennel, has performed for me as it should and has swollen out into bulbous protrusions at the base of its leaf stalks.
    • 1983, Theodore James, The Gourmet Garden, page 44
      The strong anise odor of finocchio repels many insects from other vegetables.
    • 1994, B. Rosie Lerner and Beverly S. Netzhammer, Possum in the Pawpaw Tree: A Seasonal Guide to Midwestern Gardening, page 43
      Also called Florence fennel, finocchio has long been a popular vegetable in Europe but has somehow fallen out of circulation from most American gardens.
  2. (derogatory, slang) A male homosexual.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:male homosexual
    • 2008, Edward Anthony Gibbons, A Cultural Affair, page 6
      On many, a cold freezing night, of temperatures hovering near zero, the finocchios tease and try to encourage Tedesco to join in their warm body orgies.
    • 2009, Paul MacKenzie, Redemption Comes to Brooklyn, page 172
      Not to mention, he and Julie were finocchios; but at least Larry was a smart finocchio.
    • 2010, Suzanne Corso, Brooklyn Story, page 182
      “Don’ stand next to any finocchios who might try’n grab your best friend,” Vin cracked. Richie roared as Tony made his way to the men’s room.
    • 2011 August 19, Jane Espenson, Torchwood: Miracle Day, episode 7: “Immortal Sins”, 23:51–23:57
      Salvatore Maranzano: Rumour is you two are a pair of finocchi.
      Captain Jack Harkness: That’s not a rumour; that’s a boast.



  • ‖ Finochio” listed on page 237 of volume IV (F and G), § i (F) of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [1st ed., 1901]
    Finochio (finǫ·kio). Also 8 fenochia, -io, -occhio, finocha, finochi, 8–9 fin(n)ochia. [It. finocchio: — popular L. fēnoclum: see Fennel.] The sweet fennel (Fœniculum dulce); also called the dwarf or French fennel. [¶] 1723 R. Digby Let. to Pope 14 Aug. How spring the Brocoli and the Fenochio. 1767 J. Abercrombie Ev. Man own Gardener (1803) 658/1 Finochio, or French fennel; for soups, sallads, etc. 1796 C. Marshall Garden. xvi. (1813) 267 Finochio is a sort of dwarf fennel. 1847 Craig, Finnochia, a variety of fennel.
  • ‖finochio” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd ed., 1989]



From Late Latin fēnuculum (contracted to a later Vulgar Latin form *fenuclum), from a diminutive of Latin fēnum. The slang sense is of Tuscan origin and probably derives from the archaic meaning “worthless person”, although many different folk etymologies exist.[1]



finocchio m (plural finocchi)

  1. (botany) fennel
    Synonym: (Venetian slang) fenocio
  2. (slang, vulgar, derogatory) queer, poof, nancyboy, faggot [from 1863]
    Synonyms: omosessuale, (Venetian slang) fenocio, frocio, ricchione
  3. (archaic) bungler (incompetent or worthless person)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  • English: finocchio

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Giovanni Dall'Orto ((Can we date this quote?)) “Finocchio”, in Storia di undici termini relativi all'omosessualità[1]