Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Monday, March 17, 2008

Two more family sayings

When we were on our trip a couple of sayings kept slipping out of my mouth -- when you're near people with your accent (Philadelphia) you start to talk like an east-coast person again. I know, I know, some of you are saying you always talk (tawlk) like an east-coast person, but I have tried over the years to lose the accent. I still say coffee the correct way (caw-fee) not the wrong way (cah fee). And that's a dead give-away.

Anyway, the two home grown sayings are -- are you ready for this?

capisci (cap eesch) -- we dropped the last "i" and just said cap-eesch (phonetic), meaning, do you understand? I think that word is used throughout the Godfather trilogy just before each shooting or dismemberment.

And the other word is stupido (you just did something stupid). I always thought stupido was Spanish, but then I found out that it's also Italian, so it had to have come from my grandmother, not my high-school Spanish class.

I'll put these words back on the "Sayings" page as well, but you don't have to go all the way back there.

We got into a discussion about words when we were with Alan's Aunt and Uncle (in Florida) and I used a "bad" word to describe Mrs. Clinton. Alan's Aunt didn't appreciate the word, but I could think of no other word to use, and then we got into a round of discussion about what is a bad word anyway. In some cultures what we consider bad isn't, and what we consider good isn't, so it's a matter of culture and semantics.

I grew up not knowing four-letter words of the swearing sailor variety, but when I got out in the world there they were and slowly they crept into my vocabulary. And, I catch myself each time I use one, blush, ask for forgiveness from God, and go on. The female dog word wasn't one of the forbidden words, but it was used to describe a female dog, not a back-biting, nasty female person running for president. So, explaining my use of the forbidden word did little to asuage Alan's aunt, and I thought we might be out on the street out last night at her place before we left for the cruise. I don't think she understood where Alan and I were coming from with words. And I could see her point.

We got into a discussion about damn and darn. She says darn when she means damn and my point was what is the difference? One letter -- "r" to "m" it means the same thing, therefore her use of darn would be just as bad as my use of damn (which I don't use in public, in my thoughts I use it). Heck and hell, was another two words we talked about. So how did I get to here from two more family sayings?

Well, think about it. Calling someone stupid in Italian might be as offensive as calling someone a dork in English. So, be careful little lips what you say!

1 comment:

Notes from the Holler said...

This post cracked me up! I can just see your husband's mouth drop open when you dropped the b&$%! word. Too funny. :o)