According to Google, bigotry is:

obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction, in particular prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group. "the difficulties of combating prejudice and bigotry"

While, still according to Google, bigotto means:

Chi assiduamente e scrupolosamente osserva le pratiche del culto senza afferrarne l'intima essenza religiosa; bacchettone, pinzochero.

It seems like in italian the meaning is strictly related to religion, while in english it has a "wider" meaning.

  • May I suggest not to take “Google” as a source. It isn't: it shows excerpts from all kinds of website, from good academical sources to whoever's rants. So please check what you are actually quoting.
    – DaG
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


I'll try to answer, but I'm not sure what is exactly the question here. It can't be “Why is the meaning of bigotto different in Italian language”, because it's not “different”: it's what it is.

Bigotto comes from French bigot, in origin a pejorative term of abuse with which Normans were called, perhaps (but this is contested) from their Old English phrase bī God, that is by God. So probably the meaning comes from attributing to Normans a religiosity that was only apparent, not truly felt.

Whatever its precise origin, French bigot and its derivations, as Italian bigotto and English bigot, had originally (and in the French and Italian case still have) this meaning of “a sanctimonious person, a religious hypocrite, holier-than-thou”.

Why in English it has evolved toward different nuances is beyond the scope of this StackExchange. Those about English language might be able to help.
  • It is different, the common definition of bigotry in english is different from the italian one, I personally don't know about languages. Just had this question as I noticed an uncommon use of the word bigotry in some english videos, so I was wondering and noticed that the definition according to multiple dictionaries is different.
    – SyncroIT
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 14:00
  • 1
    @SyncroIT: I see, thanks for clarifying. I'm afraid this site and my own knowledge can't help about the successive development of the word in English, after it borrowed bigot from French.
    – DaG
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 14:21
  • 3
    @SyncroIT - the etymology, and possible semantic changes of the term bigotry in English can be asked on english.stackexchange.com if you like. But please show your research when posting.
    – Hachi
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 9:43

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