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Tag Archives: Italian

Italian Counting Rhymes and Promiscuous Owls

12 Nov

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Dear readers, imagine the following scene. I actually posted this as a quick status update on my Facebook page, and then when I got deeper into it I realized it was fodder for another totally trivial and nonsensical blog post.

You’re welcome! Happy to oblige, as always, in keeping you up to date on the lesser-known and totally irrelevant aspects of life in Rome.

Ok, so, yes. The scene. Me and my son in his bedroom as he attempts to select his bedtime story from the masses of English books my mom has thankfully supplied us with from the States. It’s not easy, folks. Phineas and Ferb? Sponge Bob? Iron Man? What would you do to choose?

Well. My son, like any other astute almost-six-year-old, went for the tried and true method of the “counting rhyme.”

You know the counting rhyme, right? When you have to pick something as a kid, so you do that thing where you start to recite a totally incomprehensible little ditty that, once you get to the last word in the sequence, has you pointing at your choice?

When I was a kid in the States it was “eenie meenie miney mo.” Because Wikipedia is the font of all knowledge (despite the fact that the people who monitor and police it are anal-retentive robots who should be destined to an eternity in a boiling kettle of hot oil watched over by Lucifer himself, and no I haven’t had articles thrown out by them for lack of third-party sources, why do you ask?), you can find the entire text of that one here. It’s a harmless little chant about performing the super-human feat of catching a tiger by its toe, but humanitarily letting it free if it protests. Honestly, to me that works just fine.

So, imagine my surprise when, as I let the contents of my son’s Italian counting rhyme waft into my over-tired ears, I seemed to hear the following phrase: “facevano l’amore con la figlia del dottore.”

Whaaa?

Me: “Hey Vince! Did you just say ‘they were making love with the doctor’s daughter’!?”

V, laughing: “Yeah!”

Now. My son is nearly six, so he wouldn’t know the physiological implications of the phrase “making love” any more than he’d understand the mechanical implications of a double-clutch transmission. I, however, was intrigued and amused. A childhood counting rhyme involving illicit sex with the doctor’s daughter? Oh, come now. That’s just too fun to pass up.

Because of the fact that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the damn name of the song, and because of the fact that at age six, my son is already inexpressibly mortified by any and all of my behaviors (I don’t blame him), when I tried to sing it so that he’d correct me and tell me the right name, he just kept yelling at me: “Stop it mom! That’s not how it goes!!!”

Me: “Biki chiki coco??” “Barba cooko cacki?” You get the idea.

Even Google wouldn’t help me, not even that super handy-dandy autocorrect that usually is underlined and hyperlinked right up top for you when you type “How do you spell mispell?” and it says “Did you mean ‘how do you spell misspell?'” and you’re like “That’s what I’m asking YOU, Google!”

Yeah, so barba cheeky cooky cokey didn’t produce anything. But I had an ace up my sleeve. I had THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER BEING NAUGHTY. So I typed in “facevano l’amore con la figlia dell’dottore” and you better believe how much I, in the illustrious words of the Google search button, “felt lucky.”

So, the song is called AMBARABA’ CICCI’ COCCO’.

Obviously.

But the best part of the song? The best part of the song, folks, is WHO exactly is MAKING LOVE with the doctor’s daughter. Have a look-see for yourself:

“Ambarabà ciccì coccò
tre civette sul comò
che facevano l’amore
con la figlia del dottore
il dottore si ammalò
ambarabà ciccì coccò!”

Ambarabà ciccì coccò
Three owls on the nightstand
Making love
with the doctor’s daughter
the doctor got sick
ambarabà ciccì coccò!

The doctor got sick? Yeah, I’ll sure bet he did!

Oh, love. And when I tried to tell my son: “Hey there son, when I was a kid (I walked uphill both ways to school, etc.) we used to sing “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe,” he’s like “Moooommmmm….”

It’s hopeless. My kids are destined to a life of utter and eternal embarrassment. I feel for them. I really do. But not as much as I feel for the poor doctor. What kind of upbringing is that, anyways? Mah!

Oh my God. No. There is a very detailed and involved etymological analysis of said counting rhyme. If you’re brave, and you speak Italian, go forth and learn about it. That one there is a blog post. But, you can really thank linguist Vermondo Brugnatelli for revealing the mystery.

You know, now that I think of it, I really should have named my first-born Vermondo. That is just spectacular.

Last trivial piece of trivia, if you’re still holding on reading here: Umberto Eco wrote an entire semiotic essay on this and other tantalizing topics, which in Italian is part of a collection of essays titled Il Secondo Diario Minimo, but which has been partially translated into English in the form of How to Travel With Salmon and Other Essays. Because I do not have aforementioned book, I cannot confirm for you whether or not the collection contains the story. But, traveling with salmon sounds fun too.

OH MY GOD, do you see how exciting it is to question things in life? You can start with bestiality and end with Umberto Eco. Life is beautiful, folks, is it not?

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More Fun with Italian Grocery Products

20 Aug

If you’re like me, you can find simple amusement in almost anything in your immediate environment, especially if it has to do with language, words, and images. So, you can imagine my delight when I ducked into the Eurospin discount grocery store on my recent trip to Sardegna, to pick up a hair brush for my twin daughters. Little did I know that I’d be walking into a fiesta of fun with product names.

The possibilities for play with these product titles are endless. Well, I guess, endless if you live in my head. If not, just enjoy the implications, like you might with my former posts in this area regarding product and business names, namely Sofass toilet paper and those security gates that I just can’t get enough of. (Watch the video in that post, if you haven’t before or if you don’t know what I’m referring to. It’s worth the chuckle, I promise.)

And, if you really have some free time on your hands, why not browse my entire curio cabinet collection of advertising gemology? Fun will be had by all, I can sofassure you.

But, without further ado, might I tempt you with these granola bars? They’re a little cheesy for granola bars, which makes for an interesting taste sensation:

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You think I’m kidding here? This is not a crock of [four-letter word beginning with S]! At least, not like these other snacks, which basically give you the warning label right on the front that they’re over-promising:

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And, some warm fuzzies in conclusion. What the heck is the deal with inanimate products wanting to get all close and intimate? Geez! I’d prefer my big-girl beverages and shower gel just do their assigned jobs, rather than trying to get all lovey-dovey with me.

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Please note: the taste is fine-selected. I do not know what this means, but I like it.

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Helpfully brand-named “Near Your Body,” yet inexplicably not brand-named “On Your Body.”

Got any more for me? As you can see, my collection is growing.

Pre-Fabricated Italian Diet

19 Jul

There are plenty of great Rome food blogs, many of which are run by people I am very proud and humbled to call friends and acquaintances.

Alas, this is not one of them.

And so it is, without a shred of indignity, that I give you my latest supermarket discoveries and thus evidence to prove that Italians love convenience just as much as the next guy. No shame in my game. Call me on it, I’ll admit it. I’m your big-box Walmart with endless parking in a sea of Nordstrom blogs about Rome. It’s all good. Hell, I nearly killed myself last night carrying my daughter to bed by tripping over a round pillow strategically left by my son in front of his door when I was carrying her out. I hardly have time to shower, for the love of God! I’m a mess! And yet—yet. I care about my readers enough to be the asshat that takes a picture of this package in the dairy section of my corner supermarket:

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Proudly proclaiming “New,” it’s the folks at Buitoni giving us another reason to abandon the joys of homemade pasta, kneaded on Sunday from scratch. You know the type, where you put the big pile of flour on your counter and crack a few eggs in a welled-out space in the middle and presto-change-o, freshly made pasta! (I do, because my Roman ex-husband used to actually do this for fun, and we loved it. I bought him a little hand-cranked Imperia to make pasta and it was good times, let me tell you. Try it, honestly it’s not that hard.)

You know, you Americans across the pond might have your “Boboli Italian Breadshell,” but hey! Over here we’ve got Buitoni’s ready-to-make ravioli. Hell yeah, people! 16 pre-cut discs just waiting for you to stuff them into delicious oblivion. [Post-script: I get that these aren’t pre-made discs of pasta all’uovo to make in water. An astute reader pointed this out to me. I call them ravioli by mistake, referring to the fact that they’re mini. They are DOUGH to STUFF for cooking in the oven, a pan, or frying in oil. Aka CALZONI or PANZAROTTI. That being said, please put all your food corrections, observations, or upturned noses in the comments, as again, this is not a food blog therefore I am not qualified to debate the merits of different types of pasta).

Now, I’ll be honest with you. My kids wouldn’t touch the things. Preschoolers with a palate, Dio mio. Which means I ate like 10 of them. Threw my diet into a tailspin, yes indeedy! I don’t think Weight Watchers has this in their points system. Let it be said that I don’t recommend you try any of this at home. That’s why I’m here.

I do so love the package. It’s very DIY.

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Here it tells us that we can either make them into mini fried ravioli (like mini calzoni, really) and fry ’em up in a hot pan of oil for 2 minutes, or, perhaps more sensibly, bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. I made mine into those little gift bag-looking shapes. Really, all that was missing was a tomato-red ribbon tied around the top. Maybe that’s why my kids didn’t eat them.

And, who said we don’t have bacon over here? Move over bacon, here’s something leaner more Italian called fette di pancetta affumicata!

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This for me is rather epic. Since when do Italians sizzle some sliced bacon and serve it up on a plate next to a pair of fried eggs? Since, um, never, as far as I know. I found this randomly placed on top of a package of gnocchi. Like, someone had it in their cart and then had a last minute change of heart and just slyly threw it back in the dairy case on top of a random bag of gnocchi. *no one saw that!*

Now, here’s a kind of a weird yet fun thing that Coca-Cola has going on right now. Don’t ask me to explain it. They just think they’re cute by printing something like “Share your Coca-Cola with…” and then a name, or some cutesy phrase like “il tuo tesoro” – your sweetheart, etc.

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Personally, if they think that’s going to make me buy more Coca-Cola (they don’t say “Coke” around here), well then, they’re sorely mistaken. Because I’ll tell you what: I turned around every damn bottle in that there fridge and none—and by that I mean NOT A ONE—had the name “Shelley” on it. Humph! (Does anyone ever really use that word/phrase in real life, or is it just written to show haughty dismay? This is clearly a completely irrelevant side question. Discuss amongst yourselves.)

But folks, let’s be honest here. When it comes to pre-packaged “Mediterranean” foods, no one does convenience—or Italian stereotyping, for that matter—like the U.S. advertising industry.

Witness “hot sexy Italian man-chef” stereotype:

Witness “grown boy-man totally dominated by overbearing Italian mamma” stereotype:

Witness “Italian before the dawn of the P.C. era” advertising strategy: (and might I add here, oh dear God)

So, you know. We Americans love our Italian imports. Then again, let’s be fair. Bet y’all Americans out there didn’t know there’s this overblown Southern good ol’ boy from Chattanooga, Tennessee who became famous in ads over here in the 80s by hawking Lipton iced tea with an unbearably thick American accent in Italian? No, seriously. Italians asking me if I know all about the mythic Dan Peterson and I’m like, WHO THE FUCK is this Dan Peterson guy, and they look at me like I’ve been living under a rock my whole entire LIFE.

Ah, yes. Just stick with me, kids. I’ll teach you everything you need to know.

FE-NO-MI-NALE.

That’s Not Italian: It’s Italian-American

2 Jul

It’s different.

And don’t go all pissy on me now, because I’m like Polish-Lithuanian with some sort of French-Canadian or something mixed in. Otherwise how did I end up with a last name like Ruelle and both parents from Detroit and relatives named Kaminskas? Clearly I am not qualified to argue the finer points of Sunday sauce. (Oh my God how much am I loving “so don’t skip the little shit in this tutorial and it will reward you in the end.” See!!?) But I can assure you that I’ve never, in twelve years of living in Rome and ten living with a Roman, heard the term “Sugo della domenica.” No.

{This is a hilarious post-script: I was trying to figure out who the dude was that wrote the Sunday sauce tutorial because it’s effing brilliant and funny and uses lots of swears and that’s fun. Turns out it’s Michael “Mickey” Melchiondo, Jr. a.k.a. Dean Ween, as Wiki helpfully explains “formerly one half of the alternative rock group Ween” Oh people, how I love the Internets.}

What I will say is that my ex-hubs (who is a several generations Roman) and yours truly naively thought that when we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tourists in NYC, we could go to the famed Little Italy, speak a bit of Italian, and be understood.

Again, let’s be clear: no. (Helpfully spelled the same in both English and Italian. Italian-American, I do not know.)

So much no, in fact, that the form of Italian “dialect” that our waiter spoke was some odd combination of an Italian dialect and American English something or other. As in, it was some sort of mutant hybrid language that was uniquely Italian-American. Incomprehensible to an “Italian from Italy.”

Italian-American culture is, as indicated by the word “culture,” its own culture. I am not an anthropologist writing an ethnography, so I have no authority to speak about this, but I simply say this to inform you that “Italians from Italy” don’t tend to identify with Italian-American culture. That culture, while having its roots in Italy, has of course grown up to be a product of its environment: a blend of Italian ancestry mixed with American culture. (Yes, we Americans do have culture. Stop it.) Hence, Italian-American.

Why am I blabbering on about this? Because one of my Italian-American friends recently brought this little gem video (linked at the end of the post) to my attention.

Now, as much as Kelly Ripa makes my skin crawl, I have to say that this video is sort of funny, because it highlights the fact that “This is not Italian that you are speaking.” And yet it’s amusing to Italians from Italy. When I told my ex and some other Italians that Americans of all walks of life say “Capeesh?” as a form of asking “Do you get it?” it was fun for them to try to determine where exactly that originated from. The concensus was that it must be from Sicily. If you’re nerdy enough you can go and Google “Etymology of Capeesh.”

Wait.

I am that nerdy, so why don’t I just go ahead and do that for you?

Ha. Ha.

Big effing ha.

And you thought I was trying to be funny. No, I am not the only one who ponders these mysteries of the universe. Clearly I am not.

However, none of that, not even Oxford-The-World’s-Most-Trusted-Dictionaries was able to confirm or deny the Sicilian origin of such. They all just say “variation of Italian third person capisce.” Um—yeah. I could have told you that. Oh, hang on. Now this is going to bug me.

Ok, here’s an Italian-Palermitano dictionary. They say “capire” translates to “capìri” which gets us closer to why the accent would be pronounced as “eesh” but still, I guess the web hasn’t yet evolved to a third-person conjugation of Sicilian verbs. Sorry. Here’s where the story ends.

Now, go wild in the comments. I need schooling, as if you didn’t already realize by my Polish-Lithuanian rambling. All I could find in a cursory search on Polish-American culture is that there’s a tradition in Poland of throwing water and it’s called Dyngus. Which, if you look up the etymology of said word with its more common spelling in current US English usage a.k.a. “dingus,” (often heard on elementary schoolyards across the Heartland), you’ll find the perfect description here in the Urban Dictionary of ME, yes, Shelley: #2. And thus, we come culturally full circle. God bless America.

Just so you know: the people at Funny or Die are lame, because they’ve disabled embedding of this video which forms the foundation for my entire post. Dumb. Big fat dingus-heads.

So here’s the link to the video they won’t let me embed. Beware: it includes Kelly Ripa. That’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Five Italian Expressions You Won’t Find in Your Book

15 Jan

Now that I’ve lived in Rome for a while, it’s sometimes hard for me to remember each individual moment that I learned a new phrase that you never find in a textbook.

For some reason this morning, I was reflecting on some of these. If you don’t learn them by being immersed in the local language, or at least learn them directly from an Italian in conversation, you most likely aren’t going to find them in your Italian 101 textbook.

Granted, if you’re only learning Italian for tourist purposes, these phrases probably won’t be of much use to you. But when I was learning Italian, for example, I was learning it for the express purpose of being able to come live here and learn the culture in general, and having known to expect a few of these before they popped out of nowhere on me, would have been helpful.

I’ve written on this in the past as well: Italian Lessons I Learned After Moving Here.

So let’s test your knowledge, if you’re ready. See if you know these!

1. Figurati!

I remember the first time that someone said “figurati!” to me instead of my textbook-taught “prego” as a response to grazie. It was like, whaaa?

The verb “figurarsi” would be literally like imagine something, I suppose, but I’ve never even really looked it up. I’ve just always understood it to mean something equivalent to the English “don’t mention it” when someone says thanks. It’s a rather informal way of saying “you’re welcome,” but that being said, I often also hear it used in the formal form, and I have often said to an elderly person, after they’ve thanked me for holding the door for them or giving up my seat on the bus, “ma si figuri signora!” like a formal way of saying “by all means!” And then there’s also “figuriamoci” which I often use when I’m trying to emphasize in speaking to someone that I don’t expect whatever I’m about to say, would ever happen. For example if I have a friend who’s always late, and I’m talking to another friend about how important it is that this friend be to a meeting with me on time, I might say something like “Figuriamoci poi se lei arriva in orario.” Like saying, “Forget about it, she’s never going to be on time (even though she should be, it’ll never happen).”

2. Capirai!

This was another really weird one for me, because if I really sat there and translated it literally, it would come out as some kind of declarative statement akin to “You’ll understand!” Well that just made no sense in any of the contexts in which I’d ever heard this phrase spoken, because it was always in this way of some kind of incredulous reaction to something. Something like, “Oh, well, that’ll be the day…” It’s really hard to pin this one down. In this online translation they say it means “big deal” but, even still for me that doesn’t fully capture it. I read through some other people trying to pin it down on this forum, and I think this person did a fairly good job of explaining it, although it’s still basically convoluted no matter which way you slice it:

More context: it means that it’s taken for granted what was said before, because the character that spoke earlier has a very strong identity and we can almost predict what his answer will be like.

3. Non c’e’ di che!

Another weird way of saying you’re welcome, kind of like “don’t mention it!”

4. Ma per carita’!

This one to me is closest to something like, “Oh please!” in the sense of an eye-rolling, God-help-us-all kind of way. Now that I think about it, you can use this one too instead of “you’re welcome,” but it would be a much more emphatic way of trying to communicate that there is absolutely no reason that person should even be thanking you. Like, “are you kidding me? I would have done that regardless! No need to say thank you!” all of that wrapped into this one phrase, which when translated literally means “for charity!” Maybe it’s like “well for heaven’s sake!” I’ve also heard “Per carita’ di Dio!” which, you know, adding in God and all, gives it that extra power.

Oh my gosh, look! I just checked out this forum and they agree with me. Good call, Shells, good call. You must really speak Italian or something! (pats self on back)

4. Ci hai azzeccato! Often in Rome spoken like this: “C’hai azzeccato!”

You’ve guessed it! No, that’s what it means. “You’ve guessed it!” Azzeccare is a colloquial way to express having figured something out, to be right on the mark.

5. C’ha ‘na capoccia….

Ha, this one is hidden away on an anonymous but very entertaining page of Roman sayings. I hear it all the time. It’s a fun one. “Capoccia” is a Roman dialect way of referring to the head. But you can’t really translate it so literally. This phrase would be like saying “he (or she) has a head” but it really depends on how it’s used. Sometimes people say “Mi ha fatto ‘na capoccia cosi'” and that would mean something like they totally annoyed you, like, made your head nearly explode from the annoyance, the “cosi'” (like this) part to just randomly refer to the way your head felt. Italians are so expressive with their hands that it makes it really hard to translate some phrases in words. (Note to self: video post on Roman hand gestures). “C’ha ‘na capoccia grossa” I’ve also heard, to mean someone is smart “they have a big head.”

“The Apprentice” Goes Italian

26 Sep

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OMG I had to laugh to myself in the subway the other day. How do you figure this dude is going to say “YO FIRED!” in Italian? I mean, The Donald even had the balls to fire Bush, for God’s sake!

Wait, wait! Wanna hear how it sounds with a British accent? Go!

The geniuses there cut right to the chase and called their show “The Apprentice You’re Fired!”

Best line? (Imagine me doing a mock British accent) “You should be branded tragic!” (Oh my God I have to find a way to reuse that line.)

Anyhoo, my curiosity about this key catch phrase in Italian made me even consider, for like a split second, the idea of watching real TV just to find out. You do know it’s been honestly years since I’ve watched real TV, right? Real TV in my house is defined as anything that doesn’t fall between channels 40–or thereabouts–and 46. Those are the cartoons. I honest to God haven’t watched any real TV other than cartoons in years, and I don’t even really watch the cartoons. For heaven’s sake folks, Italian TV isn’t worth it anyways.

(Shelley crosses fingers and makes obvious exception for TG4 weather girls in the golden days of Emilio Fede, requisite “hubba hubba” photographic evidence thus:)

Thigh-highs such a plus when reporting on “sun,” “sun with clouds,” and “random white lines.” Which I later learned means fog. So intuitive.

And … now?

Ok, so are you are aware that aforementioned Italian apprentice dude is actually and truly the Italian version of Donald Trump, right? Tell me you are aware of this. I mean, honestly, we need to give a major gold star to central casting on this one.

If you are unaware of Donalduccio Trumpazzio, his name is Flavio Briatore. Briatore is known in various circles as “Italy’s most infamous playboy” (although he’s now been married since 2008).

I’m not much of a pop culture authority around here (see: paragraph 1 in which I say I don’t watch TV) but my instincts are telling me that Briatore is a bit of a has-been, alla “The Donald” circa his debut in The Apprentice. Why do I say that? Because all the controversial gossipy clips about him go back to 2007 and 2008, when I think he was most likely in his hey-day, as well as was his “Billionaire” club in Sardegna. Post-crisi all this shameless money flaunting might seem just a wee bit gauche, especially when it involves trying to hawk alligator skin umbrellas to the tune of $50,000. (Yes, those are FOUR zeros, for alligator skin, used for an object whose sole purpose is to GET WET, and I didn’t make a typo.)

Anyhoo, not much else to report on here, folks. However, IMHO, “Sei licenziato!” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as The Donald’s original recipe. And will Briatore being doing that weird hand thingy, too? Ah, so many questions, so much to discover. Too bad I won’t be around to find out. I’ll be over zoning off into the distance while the TV flickers with something called The Fairly Odd Parents on channel 44. So, you know, fill me in, won’t you? After which I’ll be in line with Anne Hathaway waiting 20 minutes to get into the club, while Bruce Willis gets shunned.

Wait!
Wait?

What’s that, you say? My instincts were correct?

Why, yes; yes they were.

Above-linked article, worth linking this time under its proper headline “How Elisabetta tamed Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore” which includes the required-by-law booby shot, as stated in Italian constitution article XVI, act. 3, paragraph 72bis: “All Italian female television or media personalities must reveal, at all times, at least half of their abundant bosoms.” Said article calls Briatore fully transformed into a responsible father and husband, and further reveals that his beloved club Billionaire, where everyone brought $50,000 alligator skin umbrellas in case of rain, closed its expensive doors at the end of this summer.

Oh, sweet sorrow. But, like they always say, while wearing their brightly-colored rubber band “WWJD” bracelets: when God closes a door, He opens a window.

So now, without further ado, let the breezes blow in and ruffle the curtains as I turn it over to, and I quote the official-sounding narrator: “a man who took destiny into his own hands…”

Oh holy God … the 10 RULES OF THE BOSS. Yes, I’ll translate. It’s the very least I can do for you after having read this far. Yeah, don’t mention it. That’s what they pay me the big bucks for.

1. Chew barbed wire. (mmm sounds appetizing. Does that come with the amatriciana?)
2. Don’t give up. (Revolutionary. Truly reinventing the wheel here.)
3. Be hungry. (Clearly he is. Often. Look at his amazing physique.)
4. Be a good coach. (“Make them loyal.”)
5. Work is serious business. (Please refer to my comments regarding rule #2)
6. Success is the best revenge. (Nooo! Don’t rip off ol’ Blue Eyes!)
7. Business never sleeps. (It sounds like he’s grasped the concept of Greenwich Mean Time.)
8. Never underestimate me. (No worries there. Briatore doesn’t read my blog. And he adds “And don’t ever overestimate yourself.” Once again, not in my readership.)
9. No excuses ever. (I was going to think up a sarcastic comment for this one but the dog ate the paper I wrote it on. He goes, “If you’re arrogant, you’re out.” I guess that’s because only one arrogant bastard is allowed on screen. Not underestimating!)
10. The boss is always right. (Please refer to my comments regarding rule #9).

Wow. Truly exhilarating. I need a drink. Briatore, I’m fired.

Social media acronyms in Italian

1 Apr

Seeing as how I have too much free time on my hands, what with being a divorced mamma of three kids, working full time, and trying to achieve world peace while simultaneously recycling, I will now attempt to translate common texting and social media acryonyms from their olde English usage into modern-day Italian.

This curious phenomenon is also known in layman’s terms as insomnia.

Whew. What an introduction, folks!

So, let’s get down to business. Why is it that I can say LOL in English (actually I don’t say LOL because that would be weird, plus truly I despise the acronym LOL almost as much as I hate Hello Kitty, but that’s an entirely different story) but you can’t find a corresponding acronym in Italian? Yes, these are things that go on in my brain. This will not come as any surprise to Finny Knits, who knows me from our college days and will fondly recall membership in a club I created in the college newsroom called “PWBATTCCA” (pronounced “pwabattcca”) which roughly translates to “people who bitch about things they can’t change anyways.”

*Pauses for a moment while cartoon lightbulb magically appears over head.*

OMG. I do believe this was a sign from heaven that I was going to one day settle in Italy. Truly, this is the country of PWBATTCCA. I live in the PWBATTCCA homeland, people! Is this is what Jung meant when he talked about synchronicity?

And yet, I digress.

Where is the glossary providing me with the Italian equivalents of our precious acronyms? What’s that, you say? It doesn’t exist? Well then, let me get straight to work.

In no particular order, I give you:

Shelley’s List of Completely Non-Existent Acronyms in Italian for Usage in Text Communications, Social Media Applications, and Everyday Speech
(last application is for use at your own risk)

There’s a list in English that truly boggles the mind. BCBG? After show party? And yet, we also have Spanish ADM. See, I’m not the only one with too much free time on my hands. Allow me to choose a select few.

LOL = laughing out loud. RAV = ridendo ad alta voce (I see no reason for two A’s, do you?)
ROTFL = rolling on the floor laughing. RPTR = rotolando per terra ridendo

At which point someone might say STFU = shut the f$/% up. SZC = stai zitto/a, ca$(%

BTW = by the way. AP = a proposito

WTF = what the f$/%. CCE = che ca%$£ è

IMHO = in my humble opinion. SLMO = secondo la mia modesta opinione

TY = thank you. GZ = grazie

Truly, that’s about the extent of my acronym usage. Let’s not forget that one is only a tween once.

But, just in case you need this handy expression also listed on the enlightening English glossary I ran across online, here’s your moment of Zen:

IAGSMSOL I am getting some money sooner or later

QFQCDC = quando finisce questo ca£$/% di crisi?

Italiani, voi mi capite.