Old Italian family slang term for "Little Rat"

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Old Italian family slang term for "Little Rat"

Postby jwazevedo » 10 Jul 2009, 14:47

Hi Folks,

I recently learned from an aunt that my grandfather was (affectionately) known as "Little Rat" to his family and friends because of his short stature. She said it in Italian, and it sounded to me like "ria ting". In looking up rat in the dictionary (topo), I can find nothing that comes close to "ria ting". Would anyone have an idea about the real Italian words that might sound like "ria ting" and mean something like "little rat"? (My family is from the Como region, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks!
Jerry
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Re: Old Italian family slang term for "Little Rat"

Postby pink67 » 10 Jul 2009, 15:08

Hi Jerry!

I believe the correct form was "Rattin".... in my region too (liguria) is used to indicate the little children...this is because in italian you can call the rat "Ratto" (it's a way less "fine" to call the mouse)...
So, piccolo ratto (little Rat) = Rattino/Rattin
Piccolo Topo (Little Mouse) = Topolino

I remember my old grandaunt call my little sister "Rattin" :D

Laura
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Re: Old Italian family slang term for "Little Rat"

Postby elba » 10 Jul 2009, 20:24

Yes 'rattin' is used widely here around the lake Como area as a nice way (usually) of saying someone is fast in thier movemnts and a little bit crafty too. A large 'rattin' is usually called a ratton!

But in the Genova area a 'rattin' is a little mouse. Scroll down this page and you will see the childrens song written in dialect, Italian and English!
>RATTIN<
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Re: Old Italian family slang term for "Little Rat"

Postby jwazevedo » 10 Jul 2009, 23:57

Thank you both for sharing a bit of the language and the culture! When I think of my grandfather now, the picture in my mind will be a little bit more complete.

Grazie mille,
Jerry
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