January 6th, 2019

words 6
  • sallymn

Sunday Word: Dolce far niente

A phrase this time, one I love dearly.

dolce far niente [dawl-che fahr nyen-te]
1. Pleasant idleness, the sweetness of doing nothing


How different would your quality of life be if you made time throughout the day to experience la dolce far niente? Instead of using your free moments to catch up on what housewife bought what SUV on HULU, instead of checking your email one last time to see if anyone else is needing you to do something, instead of using your free time to check your bank accounts or pay that cell phone bill- What if you just did nothing? (Colleen Long, The Art of Doing Nothing Psychology Today)

The bureaus Rabourdin and Baudoyer, after idling and gossiping since the death of Monsieur de la Billardiere, were now recovering their usual official look and the dolce far niente habits of a government office. (Honore de Balzac, Bureaucracy)


1814, from Italian, literally 'sweet doing nothing.' The Latin roots are dulcis 'sweet' (see dulcet), facere 'to make, do' (see factitious), and nec entem, literally 'not a being.' (Online Etymology Dictionary).