RE: apizza comes to Michgan ...
Wed, 03/7/07 5:01 PM
Apizza ~ its spreading northwest! Now I just wish it would spread straight north here to Vermont, where we have some of the most awful "New-England" style pizza...all doughy and bland.
If you go into Tomatoes Apizza, you had better brush up on your tri-state area Italianese so you will be able to communicate with them (this was really written by a New Yorker, and I grew up in Connecticut so there are some variations, like I say "skeeve" instead of "schkeeve" and use the word sauce instead of gravy for what I put on my pasta (not "noodles"). There is some good food related terminology towards the end:
Let's start at the beginning. Come stai? Molto bene. Bon giorno (buon giorno). Ciao. Arrivederci. Every Italian from Italy knows these words and every Italian-American should.
But what about the goomba (compare = buddy) speech pattern? Those words and phrases that are a little Italian, a little American, and a little slang. Words every paesano (from the same paese, town) and Bacciagaloop (Bacigaluppo = probably "Northern Italian" as Bagicaluppo is a common lastname from Piedmont) has heard, words we hear throughout our Little Italy neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey. This form of language, the "Goomba-Italiano" has been used for generations. It's not gangster slang terms like "whack" or "vig", if that's what you are thinking---nope, this is real Guido tawk ! (I strongly object to the term "Guido." I think it is racist and denigratory. I object even more strongly when Italian Americans use it."
The goomba says ciao when he arrives or leaves. He says Madonna Mia anytime emotion is needed in any given situation. Mannaggia (male ne abbia, in dialect male ne aggia = may he have evil or may evil have him) , meengya (minchia = the male organ, in Sicilian) oofah (uffa = sigh when you are bored, exasperated or annoyed), and of course, va fon**** can also be used. Capeesh (capisci = do you understand, or 'you know what I mean) ?
He uses a mopeen (moppina = from mop, meaning towel) to wipe his hands in the cuchina (cucina, kitchen) , gets agita (from acidita', acidity. It also suggests a state of 'agitation, restlessness' that comes from an upset stomach - maybe with psychological implications) from the gravy (SAUCE to the NJ gang) and will shkeeve (from schifo = disgust, here used as a verb, to shkeeve) meatballs unless they are homemade from the famiglia. Always foonah (foonah: from "affondare", to sink, to dunk. In dialect it becomes 'affunnah', further shortened into 'foonah') your bread in the pot of gravy (sauce ) or you will be considered a real coo-gootz (from cucuzza = pumpkin, polysemic word indicating a blockhead, or in other contexts money etc).
There are usually plenty of mamalukes (in Italian Mamalucco, originally Arabic for "slave" then the name of a Northern African militia that fought the Crusaders -- in Italian it stands for dumb and dumber) and the girl from the neighborhood with the reputation is a facia-bruta (faccia brutta = ugly face), puttana (whore) or a schifosa (yucky one).
If you are called cattivo (mean), cabbadost (capatosta = dialect for hardheaded), sfatcheem (sh…. face), stupido (stupid), or strunz (stronzo = lit. turd, meaning asshole, jerk) , you are usually a pain in the ass. A crazy diavlo (diavolo, devil) can give you the malokya (evil eye) (from malocchio), but that red horn (contra malokya) will protect you if you use it right. Don't forget to always say per favore (please) and grazia (actually "grazie") and prego (you are welcome, lit. "I beg you") .
If you are feeling mooshadda (ammosciato = groggy, slumpy or deflated like a flat tire) or stoonad (this must be originally from STONED, whose sound suggested the Italian STONATO , meaning tone deaf, and more precisely someone who sings off key = the mixture of the two indicate someone who's not totally there) or mezzo-morto (half dead), always head to Nonna's and she will fix you up with a little homemade manicott' (manicotti, in Italian cannelloni), cavadell' (cavatelli, homemade type of pasta), or calamar ' (calamari = squid), or some ricotta cheesecake.
Mangia some zeppoles, canollis (correct spelling is "cannoli") , torrone, struffoli, shfoolyadell', (sfogliatelle, philo dough pastries with cheese) pignoli cookies, or a little nutella (Nutella was launched in Italy in the '60. ItAm language keeps up!) on pannetone (panettone, typical Christmas cake from Milano. How did it get in here?). Delizioso! I think I will fix myself a sangweech (sandwich) of cabagol ' (capocollo, salami typical of Calabria) with some proshoot (prosciutto) and mozarell' or maybe just a hot slice of peetza (no way, pizza is pizza.)
So salud ' (salute, health) if you have any Italian blood in you and you understood anything written here! Then, you are numero uno and a professore of the goombas .
If you don't get any of this, then fa Nabola (it literally means "do the Neapolitan way" ie the same as va fongool. The interesting thing is that in Italy we do not have expressions to suggest sodomitic proclivities on the part of Neapolitans. Not that I know of, at least. It must be peculiar to ItAm.)
with the whole thing and you are a disgraziato (etimologically "outside the grace of god", irresponsible, good for nothing). Scuzi (scusi, sorry), mia dispiachay (mi dispiace = sorry) , I didn't mean that....... Just...... fugheddaboudit !.......