What A Single Spaghetti Noodle Is Actually Called

Once again, it seems, we are all destined to be amazed at what the actual word for one, single strand of spaghetti is. The first time Twitter freaked out about the word for a lonely spaghetti noodle was in 2017, and The Daily Meal was all over it. Someone, last name "Ramsey" (no, not Gordon, his last name is spelled with an "ay") took a screenshot of a dictionary that got over 43,000 likes and 18,000 retweets.

It's 2021, and here we are, again. Bon Appetit has suddenly learned the word for a sad, single spaghetti noodle and predicts that "the internet may never be the same." Not to draw out the big reveal or anything, but the word for a piece of solo spaghetti hasn't changed between 2017 and 2021. To be honest, we anglophones have probably been consistently rediscovering the word for an unaccompanied spaghetti noodle since 1849 when "spaghetti" slipped into the English lexicon (via Online Etymology Dictionary). Anyways, without further ado, here's what you should henceforth call an unchaperoned, unescorted, unaccompanied, single, solo strand of spaghetti.

It's a "spaghetto"

Spaghetti, singular, is spaghetto. If you want the grammatical explanation for that, The New European offers one. In short: spaghetti comes from "spago," which means "string" in Italian. Spaghetto means "little string." Spaghetti, on the other hand, means "lots of little strings." Roughly descriptive of the pasta, don't you think?

To illustrate: here are some ways that social media has used the word wrong. "Hmm yes after this i[sic] will make us a nice spaghetto dinner," someone once tweeted. One spaghetti noodle on a plate hardly qualifies as a meal, if you ask us. But that's just us. Or, take another tweeter, who once posted, "im[sic] literally in the mood to make spaghetto." Again, while it's possible to make a singular string of spaghetti, we'd imagine that doing so is a lot more trouble than it's worth. 

Occasionally, on the other hand, Twitter gets it (kinda) right. As a third inhabitant of the Twitterverse wrote "And don't you just hate it when a piece of spaghetto gets stuck to the pan." Granted, a "piece of" is probably unnecessary to this sentence, but you get the idea. Don't you? Until four years from now, when we'll all doubtless be astounded to discover the word, again.