What does it mean “Essere un secchione”? Why do we use this expression?

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Have you ever heard “Quel ragazzo è un secchione“?
That boy is a big bucket
Do you know why this expression is used in Italian?

We say “secchione” to a person who studies a lot.
Who is therefore considered the best in the class.

The meaning of this word is somewhat derogatory: a nerd has no social view, and his only interest is to excel in the study.

It seems that this curious term originated in Switzerland, and in particular, in the Canton Ticino, the area of ​​Italian Switzerland, which is located on the border with Lombardy.

Here the model students are called “segiòn,” and it seems that the Italian word “secchione” derives from this noun.

The term “segiòn” then seems to come from the Lombard dialect.

It comes from the word gamela,” or the name that was given to the small aluminum “bucket” that soldiers used to eat during the war.

Besides, always in Lombard dialect, the verb gamelar” meant “hard work“.

The union, therefore, of the word “gamela” and the verb “gamelar” originated the term “secchione,” bringing the image of the bucket closer to the concept of work.

So whoever studies a lot (and therefore works a lot) is a secchione!