There has been a discussion of the phrase "Cafeé und Thée Logia" seen in a C18(?) picture on the German Language Stack Exchange. None of the words is a modern spelling in any language except und which is German for "and".

So far we have got:

Cafeé looks more like French café than Italian caffè but the Académie française derives café from Italian caveé, caffé. Cafeé looks half way in between.

Und is German for "and".

Thée looks like the French thé but this seems to have been the early spelling in Italian as the Italian comes from French. The second e is unexplained.

Loggia is Italian from Latin, and is usually spelt with gg, at least in Latin, Italian, French and German:

Wikidata item English: loggia, French: loggia, German: Loggia, Loggien, Afrikaans: Loggia, Belarusian: Лоджыя, Belarusian: Лёджыя, Bulgarian: Лоджия, Catalan: loggia, Czech: lodžie, Loggie, Danish: Loggia, Emiliano-Romagnolo: Lóśa, Esperanto: loĝio, Spanish: logia, loggia, Estonian: Lodža, Loggia, Basque: Logia, Loggia, Finnish: Loggia, Gan (Traditional): Loggia, Galician: Loggia, Hebrew: לוג'יה, Hungarian: Loggia, Armenian: Լոջիա, Ido: Lojio, Italian: loggia, logge, Japanese: ロッジア, 開廊, 涼み廊下, 涼み廊, Georgian: ლოჯია, Kyrgyz: Лоджия, Latin: Loggia, Norwegian Bokmål: loggia, Dutch: loggia, Polish: Loggia, Portuguese: lógia, logia, loggia, Romanian: Logie, Russian: Лоджия, Slovak: Lodžia, Loggia, Slovenian: Loža, Swedish: Loggia, Ukrainian: Лоджія, Chinese: 涼廊,

Can someone with a knowledge of old spellings in Italian please say if these are valid Italian spellings and, if so, from when? And if is valid, what is the é for?

  • 2
    Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:13
  • 3
    None of those three words seems to be any form usual in present or past Italian. My feeling as a native Italian is that they intend to be Italian, from someone who didn't know the language, and copied or remembered them incorrectly. For instance, CAFEÉ looks like CAFFÈ mistaking a F for an E, and using a random accent. Then again, Italian spelling didn't use to be fixed in stone, and accents in particular oscillated.
    – DaG
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:48
  • @DaG That's a good point about CAFEÉ looking like CAFFÉ. Cafeé looked pretty strange to me until I saw the reference in the French dictionary to Italian caveé. Do you think this is an error? Was accent direction arbitrary? Did you ever see or ? Dec 13, 2018 at 21:02
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    @DavidRobinson Nothing is impossible, but I read a fair amount of old Italian books and I've never seen the digraph . I concur with DaG that this is what someone thought Italian looked like, although it's not even close, and if anything it resembles French. Logia is possible: the representation of geminate consonants has been very irregular in written Italian, especially in the North (where they did not exist as actual sounds).
    – Denis Nardin
    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:20
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    @DavidRobinson Honestly, I wouldn't take the Academie Française as a reference for Italian either :). Honestly in my opinion is that someone messed up pretty badly while doing that engraving. There were incompetents also back in the day :)
    – Denis Nardin
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


The only occurrence I could find of a spelling similar to cafeé in an Italian text is caveè, in a report by 16th-century cardinal and ambassador Gianfrancesco Morosini, as quoted in Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato raccolte, annotate ed edite da Eugenio Alberi (1855). Speaking about Turks after his mission in Constantinople, he wrote in 1585:

Quasi di continuo stanno a sedere, e per trattenimento usano di bere pubblicamente, così nelle botteghe come anco per le strade, non solo uomini bassi ma ancora de' più principali, un'acqua negra bollente quanto possono sofferire, che si cava d'una semente che chiaman Caveè, la quale dicono che ha virtù di far stare l'uomo svegliato.

More or less: They, both high- and low-class men, continuously drink in bars and streets a boiling-hot black water obtained by a seed they call Caveè, which they say keeps men awake.

The 19th-century editor annotates that it is the first time an Italian writer mentions coffee, using its Turkish name, “cahveh” (apparently, the modern Turkish spelling is kahve).

So, technically, at least an Italian writer (almost) used that spelling to designate coffee. It seems, however, that it was just a tentative first version that didn't take root, while subsequently only versions more similar to caffè or café were used. For instance, the authoritative dictionary of the Accademia della Crusca includes caffè since its third edition, published in 1691 (where it appears in the Giunte, Addenda, while in subsequent editions caffè appears as a normal lemma).

As for tea, the spelling of its name is quite uncertain even in modern Italian, so I assume some leeway may be possible for past centuries, where orthography was still in progress. Nowadays vocabularies record two or three spellings (Treccani, for instance, takes as its lemma, and lists as “less common” spellings the and thè). I can find the version Theè in late-17th-century text:

Si parla finalmente della Beuanda del Theè, e si espongono le sue Virtú singolari; Si mostra, che i tartari Orientali la beuanda del Theè formano col'latte, e sale ...

(They talk about Theè drink and its singular virtues; Oriental Tartars make it with milk and salt.)

Again, I can't find other occurrences (other ones in Google Books turn out to be other languages, among which Latin, or artefacts due to OCR). Crusca records just (giving the as its Latin form) only from its fourth edition (1729-1738). (Earlier lemmas refer to homographs.)

Finally, I can't find anything for logia, and my instinct suggests me that it is a misspelling (or local, not widespread spelling) by either a foreigner or a Northern Italian, but I can't find a definite answer.

  • Thank you, @dag What would ee mean? Could it be meant to represent two separate vowels? Since the original Italian spelling would likely have been an attempt at representing the Turkish, I looked up kahve and it is pronounced /'kɑhve/. This did not explain the but then I noticed that is has inflections: definite accusative kahveyi, plural kahveler. If you wanted to drink the coffee, then kahveyi would be form. Could , or any other form with two letters e be an attempt at rendering Turkish eyi (for which I have not found a pronunciation)? Dec 16, 2018 at 23:12
  • Great research!
    – Denis Nardin
    Dec 17, 2018 at 8:45
  • @DavidRobinson: No Italian word with “eé” comes to my mind, but there are several with just “ee” (mostly the plural of words ending in -ea, such as dea. rea, marea and many more: dee, ree, maree...) and the two “e”s definitely denote a doubled vowel.
    – DaG
    Dec 17, 2018 at 10:43
  • @DaG It's worth mentioning that those words carry the stress on the first vowel, so that -eè could be an attempt to represent a doubled vowel with the stress on the second one. In any case it's almost certainly an attempt to represent Turkish pronunciation, rather than a genuine Italian word.
    – Denis Nardin
    Dec 17, 2018 at 12:51
  • Thank you DaG and @DenisNardin I'm beginning to fit the jigsaw together. How about this: the word came from Turkish as the C18 equivalent of both kahve and kahvehi (which appears to be pronounced roughly as written). Since é is a better approximation to the i in kahveyi than e*/*è, caveé would be a good attempt at kahveyi. Cavè*/*kahve and caveé/*kahveyi would both have been in use and apparently cavè took over. The reason for the f is not yet obvious. Dec 17, 2018 at 22:12

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