Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A smoked Italian sausage made of ground pork and beef and cubes of pork fat, flavored with wine and spices.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A smooth-textured Italian pork sausage with lumps of fat, flavoured with spices; eaten cold.

Etymologies

Italian, feminine diminutive of murtato, seasoned with myrtle berries, from Latin myrtātus, murtātus, from myrtus, myrta, myrtle; see myrtle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian mortadella, from Latin murtatum ("sausage seasoned with myrtle berries"), from myrtatum, from myrtus, from Ancient Greek μύρτον (murton). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word mortadella came into Italian in the Middle Ages from French and then Tuscan, having originated in the Latin word for the mortar in which the meat was pounded.

    Delizia!

  • My account of the history of the word mortadella draws on V.

    Delizia!

  • And not long after Croce’s death the word mortadella would become exclusively joined forever both to the kind of sausage we know today and to the city of Bologna.

    Delizia!

  • Five centuries ago, Platina remarked on the need to cook liver sausage gently see box, p. 169, and said that another sausage was called mortadella “because it is surely more pleasant a little raw than overcooked.”

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The American word "baloney" derives from the city of Bologna in Italy, where they call a fine-ground pork sausage "mortadella" -- although in America baloney can also derive from chicken, turkey, or beef.

    Dan Agin: Our Baloney Way of Life

  • The author prefers to think that the generalizations in X Saves the World are more along the lines of mortadella, which is that really expensive and delicious baloney they make in Italy.

    Journalist Jeff Gordinier Teaches You How To Write Funny

  • Often known simply as “Bologna”—hence the American corruption baloney—a mortadella is a chubby cylinder of cooked sausage in string, generally about the size of a small baby.

    Delizia!

  • His generalizations "are more along the lines of mortadella, which is that really expensive and delicious baloney they make in Italy."

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The Muff-a-lotta sandwich packs mortadella, salami, provolone and house-made olive salad.

    Food in photos: Bayou Bakery

  • I like my men more like I like my wine in a box more like mortadella in the mouth of a moron more like vanishing amorists after the morning after more than was meant by mormon morals and their more sexy propositions

    Mores

Comments

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  • From Wikipedia: "The Italian politician, prime minister and former President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, Romano Prodi, who loves Bologna, is usually nicknamed 'Mortadella' by the Italian press because of his origin and presumed resemblance to the pale pink sausage."

    I love Italy.

    January 17, 2008