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What are some examples of Sicilian slang?

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Quick Answer

Examples of Sicilian slang include "futtitinni," "goombah," "pigliato dai turchi" and "ngiuriatu." The Mafia began in Sicily, so many Mafia slang terms are also Sicilian slang terms.

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Full Answer

"Futtitinni" is a popular Sicilian slang word that translates to "who cares" or "don't worry about it." The Italian equivalent is "fregatene."

"Goombah" is equivalent to the Italian word "compare." Although it literally translates to "godfather," people use it to refer to a close friend.

"Pigliato dai turchi," or "colto alla sprovvista" in Italian, literally means "taken by the Turks." Its more common meaning is "caught off guard." The literal meaning comes from the 1600s, when the Turkish people invaded Sicily, took the Sicilians prisoners and made them slaves.

"Ngiuriatu" means "nicknamed" but has a literal translation of "insulted." The Italian equivalent is "sopranomminato." The association between insults and nicknames exists because Sicilian nicknames tend to be somewhat offensive.

Invaders frequently took over Sicily due to its position between Northern Africa and Italy. This led to Sicilians forming groups to keep themselves safe from the invaders; these groups were eventually referred to as the Mafia. "Mafia" is both Sicilian and Arabic slang. It means "acting as a protector against the arrogance of the powerful."

Other Mafia-related slang includes "goumada" and "omerta." "Goumada" is a term for the mistress of a Mafia member. "Omerta" refers to the Mafia's vow of silence that each member pledges when he becomes part of the family.

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