Has anyone ever heard this expression?

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Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 09 Apr 2010, 16:52

My family's been in the US for a few generations. We still have some old expressions that have been passed down that we say and there's one that I've always been curious about.

I don't know how you would spell it- or even if it's been changed over the years- so I'm curious if anyone else has ever heard something similar.

It goes something like this (written as it would sound it in English):

Cheech kah-mah-nah kah-lah
Kah-lah kah-mah-nah cheech

Or an approximate Italian spelling:

cicci camana calla
callla camana cicci

It's supposed to be the equivalent of "the pot calling the kettle black"

As in- if someone who is short calls someone else short you say "cicci camana calla, calla camana cicci!"

FYI- My people were from the Alife area in Caserta. A little NE of Naples.

If anyone's ever heard something like this I'd love to hear from you.
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 09 Apr 2010, 17:27

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 09 Apr 2010, 17:30

Thank you for the link. I didn't see any that were similar though did you?
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 09 Apr 2010, 17:40

I think the other thread covers the phrase "pot calling the kettle black" accurately.

Your phrase, on the other hand, may have the same effective meaning but still be entirely different. In English, for example, "You say I have a big nose? Well, I say you have a big nose!"

I could quickly come up with a hundred variations. We need someone like Livio or Luca to stop by and see if they can make sense of your phonetic spelling.
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 09 Apr 2010, 17:49

Yes, you're right the thread covers the expression. And I'm sure that there are lots of different versions of it too.

I'm just curious if anyone has heard something similar to the one that I grew up hearing. I'm very into languages and would like to know if this originates from a particular region, what the original saying is- if it's been altered, etc.
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby donnawright » 10 Apr 2010, 07:26

I hesitate to ask...... here's one that my sister's landlady - an old, old Italian woman -- used to say all the time when I was a kid ....

kit tee putz ahh chee

She wasn't in a good mood when she said it, and we were always curious. Even my Italian speaking mother and father didn't know.
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby liviomoreno » 10 Apr 2010, 08:11

kit tee putz ahh chee = Che ti puzza a te?

I believe it is kind of a question: Is it stinking for you? Is it something you dislike?
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby donnawright » 10 Apr 2010, 08:42

When I think of her disposition, I think you might be right! An example is when my cousins and I (9-10 years old) would tromp up the porch steps to see my big sister, the old lady often said her magic words. She was saying, "You stink!!!" but I think maybe in her context could be "This stinks", and it makes sense! She was quite a little complainer, so we heard it all the time. Very cute... and right on the money... Thank you, Livio. That was a fun trip down memory lane for me.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 13 Apr 2010, 19:37

How about "chooch"? Im sure its not spelt that way. Ive heard my family call many people that when they were basically calling a person an idiot or something worse! Is it short for something?

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby uantiti » 13 Apr 2010, 20:05

DeFilippis78 wrote:How about "chooch"? Im sure its not spelt that way. Ive heard my family call many people that when they were basically calling a person an idiot or something worse! Is it short for something?

Alicia


I'm from Northern Italy but I've heard that expression. It's used in the South and it's dialect. The spelling is "ciuccio" (pronounced: chooch' hou) and means "donkey". I think it's used to say something like idiot.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 13 Apr 2010, 20:16

Thats right. My grandmother said its a jack ass! I totally forgot until you reminded me , lol!
(pardon the language)

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby Squigy » 16 Apr 2010, 06:00

DeFilippis78 wrote:How about "chooch"? Im sure its not spelt that way. Ive heard my family call many people that when they were basically calling a person an idiot or something worse! Is it short for something?

Alicia


:lol: I never knew that was Italian! That's used a lot in my family for a bully or an overbearing person, basically.

There is one I am told basically means "I hope you burst (or bust)", it's pronounced skoose-dee-mah. Does anyone know what that is?

Funny how these are passed down through generations.
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby PeterTimber » 17 Apr 2010, 14:07

I am sure it is listed in the italian dialect area of your family origin. Google it. =Peter=
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 17 Apr 2010, 15:38

Thank you Peter. But the problem is that I don't even know the original spelling - or even if it's been altered over the years. I've only heard it spoken, it's not something that was written down. And my guess would be that it 'evolved' some over the generations.

I've asked many people and never found anyone yet who has even heard anything similar. Who the heck knows- maybe my people even made it up themselves!
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby misbris » 17 Apr 2010, 16:14

Now that I looked at that phrase again, I recognize it. My grandpa from the province of Benevento used it all the time. The pronounciation I heard was scoose da maad. I have no idea what it meant, but it was not a compliment.
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