More about mezzaluna
Mezzaluna, “a crescent-shaped chopping knife,” literally means “half-moon, crescent” in Italian and is a compound of mezza, feminine of mezzo “middle,” and luna “moon” (compare the recent Words of the Day lunisolar and perilune). Mezzo, which is also the source of the loanword mezzanine “the lowest balcony in a theater,” comes from Latin medius “middle,” which is a distant relative and synonym of English middle and Ancient Greek mésos. A common trend is for Latin -cae-, -di-, -te-, and similar combinations before vowels to become -zz- in Italian. Just as medius became mezzo, Latin Nīcaea “Nice” became Italian Nizza, puteus “(water) well” became pozzo, and statiō “standing-place” became stazzo “fold, pen.” Mezzaluna was first recorded in English in the early 1950s.