Has anyone ever heard this expression?

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Post by blissiorio » 07 Dec 2010, 17:20

misbris wrote:Hi,

We pronounced it something like "stata zitta"
My mother still says that to me when she wants me to shut up :-)
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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Post by aliza24 » 07 Dec 2010, 17:31

This is incredible! I never imagined that asking a question about an expression would lead to 7 pages in this thread! Fantastic!!

I love hearing everyone share their expressions and memories.

AND...to top it all off I got the answer to my question, one that's puzzled me for years! (Thanks, Suanj)

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Post by montclaire » 13 Apr 2011, 20:28

blissiorio wrote:
misbris wrote:Hi,

We pronounced it something like "stata zitta"
My mother still says that to me when she wants me to shut up :-)

My wife's family is from Sicily and they pronouce it STET-SA ZEET

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Post by PippoM » 14 Apr 2011, 08:19

I'm just reading this interesting discussion.
I hope I can explain some expression, or at least I suppose to:
My great grandmother was from Sicily. She used to always say something like: mangiadigabba!

It was kinda like "mamma mia!," usually said in response to something really frustrating happens. She'd throw her hands up in the air while saying it.
I think it should be "mannaggia!", a typical popular expression of all southern Italy, deriving from a dialectal corruption of "male ne abbia" ("may it have damage"). It is generally used alone or in conjunction with other words to lighten or strengthen the effect (for instance "mannaggia la miseria" o "mannaggia a capa tua", or in some hard blasphemy)
The phrase I remember was "manga pa gab" which means something like without thinking or not using you head.
This should be "manc' p''a capa" (southern dialect, expecially neapolitan; in Italian it wouls be "nemmeno per la testa") and means something like "it doesn't even cross my mind"; for instance, if you are asked to do something you absolutely don't want to, you answer "manc' p''a capa" to say you never will. Or, if you told someone to do something, when you state he/she has not done it yet, you say the same.
I hope you could understand me.

As to
cicci camana calla
callla camana cicci

I've never heard it, but it sounds to me like:
Ciccio ca mana calla,
cala ca mana, Ciccio!
Ciccio con la mano calda,
cala con la mano, Ciccio!
Ciccio, who have a hot hand,
put your hand down, Ciccio!

But it wouldn't have the meaning Aliza explained.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

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Re: Has anyone ever heard this expression?

Post by Julo » 22 Apr 2011, 20:44

aliza24 wrote: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.
I don't think this saying has nothing to do with pots and kettles.
It may simply mean:

Ciccio comanda Carlo
Carlo comanda a Ciccio

Which translates to:

Frank gives orders to Carl
Carl gives orders to Frank

It's basically a saying that describes delegating someone else to do your work.

Happy Easter to all !

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