Has anyone ever heard this expression?

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby MaryMena » 18 Apr 2010, 15:32

As to the word "Scustumata".

I am from Calabria and that word is a dialect word still widely used among my relatives. It simply means bad mannered, rude, or not showing the proper respect.

Mary
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby misbris » 18 Apr 2010, 15:53

Isn't it ironic that although these phrases have died out in Italy, they still survive with Italian Americans. :wink:
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby PeterTimber » 18 Apr 2010, 15:58

Dear Mary Mena the dialect is general for southern Italy and can mean both b..l buster or rude and bad mannered. =Peter=
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 18 Apr 2010, 19:47

Thank you!!!!! I'm so excited. I finally found someone who knows what I'm talking about! I was starting to think my family was the only one who knew this phrase.

Sorry, but I have one more question: What is the LITERAL translation of the phrase?

I understand what cicci means but what is the translation of 'ca'mana calla?' Do you know what that would be in English?


Grazie!!!!
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby suanj » 19 Apr 2010, 03:13

"ca' mana calla" means: who drop a hint, make a sign for to say" came here" or similar...
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 19 Apr 2010, 03:32

Grazie Suanj!!!

You made my day!

I already told my dad over dinner. The original Italian meaning is even better.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby donnawright » 19 Apr 2010, 07:16

I hesitate because I don't know what the heck these things say, but this one has never been in a complimentary manner either. Here goes.

ed nah gaddita da mammita

The first emphasis was on the Ed

Sorry if it's bad.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby MaryMena » 19 Apr 2010, 23:38

Donna,

When I read it quickly, to me it sounds like "e na gaglina da marmitta" which in my Calabrese dialect would mean "she's a chicken for the pot", meaning she's too old, no spring chicken. In my part of Calabria (Reggio), "marmitta" is a pot, I believe from the Greek language.

It is so logical how languages develop. Just today I had an epiphany. For years I've been using a tiny pasta called "acini pepe" (which my mother calls "cus-cus-segliu") to make Italian Wedding Soup. While putting it away in the cupboard, I noticed my box of "cous-cous" which has the exact same shape, only smaller. I believe cous-cous is a food mostly associated with Northern Africa.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby donnawright » 20 Apr 2010, 00:18

So, what's old is new! My dad is the one who used to say that phrase, and he was from Tuscany. So, I don't know if that's right or not. I remember him messing around with the lawn mower one time and grumbling that phrase at it. And on numerous other occasions to express his displeasure at something. Thanks for sending.

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby alifano76 » 14 Jun 2010, 09:54

TO ALYZA... I know very well the meaning of the tongue-twister you said (Cheech kah-mah-nah kah-lah - Kah-lah kah-mah-nah cheech). The correct version is (in the dialect of Alife): Cicciu cumànn'a Còla e Cola cumànn'a Cicciu. Its translation into Italian is: Francesco comanda a Nicola e Nicola comanda a Francesco. In english is: Frank orders (do something) to Nick and Nick orders (do something) to Frank. We use this proverb to indicate when someone wants to do something and asking someone else to do, so as to "bounce" the thing to do ... I hope you understand my explanation... GAETANO
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 14 Jun 2010, 17:50

Gaetano,

That is interesting. The meaning of the expression must have changed because my family used it when someone said something about someone else but really it is something that applies to the person that said it.

For example: If a stubborn person (testa dura) calls another person stubborn. Then you tell them "cicci camana calla call camana cicci!"

The equivalent expression in English is: "That's the pot calling the kettle black".

People used to say that expression because a pot is black and a kettle is black. So the pot is calling the kettle the same thing that he is!

Thank you for replying! This is so interesting to me. I'm sure that a lot of expressions have changed- it's been 100 years!

Aliza
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby oilman19 » 14 Jun 2010, 20:49

Talk about memory lane.
My aunt used to call my uncle "chooch"/"cheech" or some variation of it over 50 years ago. As I think of the usage, she probably was referring to a jackass or donkey. I don't believe we were ever told the meaning of the word.
It has taken me this long to find out what she was talking about. Unfortunately, they are both gone now, but I have to believe my aunt meant it in an affectionate way(I'm just not sure how).

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby aliza24 » 14 Jun 2010, 20:56

Jim-

I don't think it was in a bad way. The Italians have a much lighter sense of humor. The tease each other but it's all in fun. Americans are so sensitive to anything.

You can check out some of SuanJ's messages on this thread and her explanations.

Aliza
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby oilman19 » 14 Jun 2010, 21:12

Aliza,

I agree. We are overly sensitive. We must always be "politically correct".

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Postby Julo » 23 Jun 2010, 02:33

donnawright wrote: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.


It's neapolitan dialect which literally means:
May someone kill you (may you be killed)

The correct written dialect words:
Chi te puozzan accidere

in italian:

Che ti possano uccidere
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