Monday, November 10

learning Italian

I'm trying here. Really trying. If you want to see your Italian husband turn white, ask him what coglione means. In public, at a crowded cafe'. Ok... maybe the cafe' shouldn't be crowded. At least not with people you know. We don't want to bring on other health issues... just a nice pasty shade of white.

coglione (co.yo.nay) n. - literally, testicle, but with a very offensive undertone (don't use it in public), ie. @#*%ing jackass.

Obama scusa, Berlusconi e' un coglione.

Well, I figured as much, I just didn't think it was that bad.

You can tell I'm not Italian... I'm sure if I was, I'd never actually write such a word on my blog. Sorry Italians. I'm just learning here.

For instance, my husband, learning English among male colleagues in the lab, became particularly fond of the "f" word. His favorite sentence was "F... the f...ers." (ok, I actually taught him that one). I was really nervous the first time I took him home to meet Mom and Dad.

The fact is that it takes a childhood of warnings and evil eyes to really feel the impact that such a word has. For someone new to the language, even after they understand the meaning of a word, the physiological response still isn't there... it's hard to learn the gut wrench or devilish joy or the simple release of tension that you get from firing off a string of profanities in your own language.

I guess I'll get there, one faux pas at a time.


  1. I only know how to be really polite to my friends parents in italian. And really, really rude to my friends in italian.

    My favourite italian insult is "poutana lourda." My friends back home and i use it as a term of affection but is actually, i'm told, a rather naughty thing to say. :p

  2. I totally agree! In Scotland and Korea, I've always had the tendancy to swear more liberally than I ever would use the words I learned as a child in Canada.


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