Sunday, March 21, 2010

Un pirla* al club Pen & Pencil

I was having a glass of wine at Philadelphia's press club the other night when I learned, loudly and repeatedly, from one of my fellow visitors that English is not a Germanic language. Where are the rowdy airline crews when you need them?
===============
* Pirla.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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91 Comments:

Blogger Gary Corby said...

This sets a new record for weird things to argue about while drunk in a bar.

Er...if English isn't Germanic, then what is it?

March 21, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I wonder what set him off.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gary, I was flummoxed by the guy's declaration. Also nonplussed.

If someone had mentioned Verner's law, the bar would have been quiet except for the sounds of stools being pushed back and sleeves being rolled up.

I suggested kindly that the fellow read a bit of linguistics. "I've taught linguistics," he said.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I'm not sure anything set him off. I don't remember what we were discussing before the guy made his astounding declaration, but the level of the conversation, as P.G. Wodehouse liked to say, was extraordinarily high. It was no shock that linguistics should have come up. But what mental short circuit or mindboggling misinformation could have made him say what he did shall remain a mystery.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Fred said...

Did he ever explain why he thought that English was not a Germanic language?

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fred, an assertion like his was best met with silence or perhaps treatment, not argument. I chose the former course.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Simona said...

Peter, I hope you'll forgive me if I ask you where you learned the Italian word in the title. I must admit I am curious.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I fear that my bar mate's jaw-dropping assertion about a Germanic language will divert attention from this post's real achievement: a new word in one of the Italic tongues.

I had long referred to obnoxious fellow drinkers, especially shallow, loudmouth, overgrown frat-boy bores who smoke cigars, as stronzi (singular: stronzo), and the designation caught on to the point where the bartender/manager would greet me with "The stronzos are here" or, more rarely, "No stronzos in tonight."

But that word was vulgar, insufficiently precise, and growing old with overuse, so I am pleased to introduce the more apt pirla, a welcome addition to my small vocabulary of parolacce. Believe me, coming with new invective to describe these guys makes it easier to bear their company.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Simona, I don’t remember precisely where I found the word. I might have done so on this list of Italian insults from Wikipedia.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

In fact, though, I need a word in Italian to describe the cigar guys. You know the type: they talk loud, sit around with their chins in the air, and use words like liquidity.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Are you sure they aren't saying 'liquidate'? Because that's a whole different conversation.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Simona said...

I am afraid I don't have a good suggestion, Peter. I think that learning to use Italian parolacce is quite difficult, because of the geographical dimension. At maximum anger level, I would never call anybody pirla, because I grew up in a part of Italy where that word is not used. Of course, when I lived in Milan, I heard it, and I know what it means. In case of exasperation, I may used the S word.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No, Seana, this guy was definitely saying "liquidity," as in "If he rolls in smoking a cigar and drinks Guinness, he's got class." and "He smokes cigars, he's got liquidity."

I remember this because he's the type that if you saw him sitting by himself, you wouldn't think, "Boy, what a pirla!" In fact, he seemed like an OK enough sort that when he started saying "liquidity," at first I thought he was making fun of the other cigar guys. Alas, he was not. He really appears to believe that using words like "class" will lend him what the people he was trying to impress would call class.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Simona, I believe what you say about the difficulty of parolacce. My searches earlier this evening turned up Milanese words, Lombard words and Genoese words. One cannot assume that a word will have the same connotations or even be understood everywhere. But I don't think any of the pirlas I run into understand any Italian, so I run no risk. And I have no desire to apply any of the words under discussion to the four or five people at the club who do know Italian.

I may take the S word too lightly. I remember a funny graffito in Rome (well, I thought it was funny) that called someone "stronzo della città." And "stronzo" and "stronzare" crop up occasionally in the Montalbano television series. I like the latter form. I love discovering verbs that simply do not have translations in English and so must be rendered by compound forms. The idea that Italian has a verb that means "to be a stronzo," I find absolutely delightful.

I can assure you that this is not just some childish fascination with dirty words. My favorite is example is from Dutch, where zwijgen means "to be silent" or "to shut up." So, William the Silent's name is rendered not with an adjective, as in English, but Willem de Zwijger.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Sucharita, I don't think I've ever seen you use so many caps before.

I will leave it to the more linguistically inclined to deny or defend your statement. But I will say that Indian English today has turned out to be one of English's most vibrant forms, at least judging by the great fiction that has come our way from your way in recent years.

Angrezi. I like that.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Fred said...

Taking into consideration the location, I agree that silence was probably the best response.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Paul Davis said...

Peter,

What do you have against cigar smokers?

A good number of great writers were cigar smokers, including one of my favorite writers, Mark Twain (I happen to reading "Mark Twain: The Man in White").

I would love to sit in a bar and drink, talk and smoke cigars with Twain.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Paul Davis said...

Peter,

Regarding Italian insults, I'm half-Italian and I'm from South Philly's Little Italy, just south of the Pen & Pencil club, as you know, and I don't think I've ever heard the word "pirla."

Italian-Americans would likey use the word "stunod," or "stronz."

Italian-Americans often remove the o and Americanize the word, like "paison" from the Italian "paisono".

A "stronz" is a shithead and a "stunod" is a goof or jerk.

Paul

March 22, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

Maybe what he intended was that English lexicon has absorbed a great deal of words from Latin and French/Norman, so much so that words with true Germanic roots may even be in the minority.

A pirla makes me think of a Milanese Commendatore, someone who would gladly employ nonsensical managerspeak in conversation.

The idea that Italian has a verb that means "to be a stronzo," I find absolutely delightful.

I'ma afraid stronzare is not a real word- we say "fare lo stronzo". Though Zingaretti/Montalbano can say what he wants.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Paul, Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers, too, but believe me -- if you were sitting in a bar with these cigar-smoking pirlas and stronzi, Mark Twain would be too busy taking notes about them and insulting them. Believe me also that when these guys sit around talking, they are not talking about Mark Twain. I know this because they talk at a volume that ensures everyone can hear that they're talking about.

It's not cigar-smoking that makes these guys jerks, but you know the kinds of guys I'm talking about. If they were a few years younger, they'd have rushed to drink martinis when martinis became cool again just to show how cool they were.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I suspect you have still never seen Sucharita use so many caps before. I will bet the price of a dinner that that was a hacker.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fred, a good discussion about linguistics with a lucid person would have enlivened the evening considerably. The problem was the person, not the location.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Paul, I had never heard "pirla" either, and that's no surprise. It's a northern word, particularly Milanese, I think, and so many of the Italians in this country had their roots in the south.

I had known about the tendency to drop final vowels, and I read a bit about during my informal research about Italian insults. I think the tendency may not be exclusively American,

Thanks for the pointers on "stronz" and "stunod." The guys in question would be closer to the latter than the former, but not really close to either. In fact, I suspect that some of them are not bad sorts, just annoying in the extreme. What I need is an Italian equivalent for "overgrown frat boys."

March 22, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

You know that did cross my mind, but it seemed rude to presume that.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, Sucharita will occasionally use a range of type sizes in a post, so the caps didn't throw me. It was the rough syntax. Our Sucharita is a much better writer than that.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Maybe what he intended was that English lexicon has absorbed a great deal of words from Latin and French/Norman, so much so that words with true Germanic roots may even be in the minority.

If he articulates that thought the next time I see him, Marco, I will fly you to Philadelphia and the Pen & Pencil Club, buy you a drink, and light your cigar for you.

A pirla makes me think of a Milanese Commendatore, someone who would gladly employ nonsensical managerspeak in conversation.

One of the cigar guys -- two, actually -- repeatedly used "liquidity" one evening when they meant "money."

I'm afraid stronzare is not a real word- we say "fare lo stronzo". Though Zingaretti/Montalbano can say what he wants.

I picked up "fare lo stronzo" from Zingaretti as Montalbano. I got a good laugh out of my Italian friends in the club, non-stronzi both, one evening when I threw my hands out in front of me and said with great feeling: "Ti prego di non fare lo stronzo."

March 22, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Peter, what's wrong with "cazzo" or "testa di cazzo"? After all, "pirla" might just mean "dumb" or "dumbass" but cazzo, so far as I know, doesn't mean anything beyond its use as a vulgarity.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

There nothing wrong with "cazzo" or "testa di cazzo," (and I've just started an Australian crime novel that uses "dickhead" as a funny insult, in a way that Australian authors tend to do.) But I wonder if Italian has an insult that fits the cigar guys more specifically -- guys who walk around with their chins in the air as if they think they're something special, guys who talk out loud about money but call it "liquidity," guys who snap their fingers at bartenders instead of addressing them politely, guys who think their Viagra prescriptions are a matter of public interest.

March 22, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

A one- or two-word insult, huh? Boy, that's a tall order, even for the imaginative Italians! I'lll bet Camilleri has one and I'll be on the lookout for it (them) as I go forward with the Italian Montalbanos.

"Guys who think their Viagra prescriptions are a matter of public interest" generally ain't gettin' any... Overgrown frat boys on Viagra? Golly, you'd think _nobody_ was gettin' any 'til that stuff came along. Do they think the mention of this is some kind of cool new pick-up line? Or is it just a version of a pissing contest between boys?

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I may not find the insult I'm looking for, but you may just have suggested yet another title: Overgrown Frat Boys on Viagra. Nah, it's just the sort of banter that belongs in locker rooms. The Viagra banter is not like a bunch of old people comparing afflictions, it's more like loud jokes greeted by louder laughter.

March 22, 2010  
Blogger Simona said...

I would use the word burini (plural of burino) to describe those people. It's a word used in the Roman dialect.

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adjective burino m (f burina, m plural burini, f plural burine)

1.boorish, loutish
[edit] Noun burino m. (plural burini) (Feminine: burina)

1.peasant, yokel
2.boor, lout


That has come the closest of any insult so far to capturing these guys' qualities. That it's a Roman word is a bonus. My Italian friends from the club are from Lazio and Rome, so they will understand what I mean when I call the cigar guys a bunch of burini. Grazie!

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

A burino might also be a hick or a hayseed. Boor and lout reminded me of one of my father's favorite pejoratives, oaf = zotico (which is quite similar to a burino).

zotico = boorish, loutish, oafish, rude (might also be a yokel)

zoticone = boor, lout, oaf; pl = zoticoni

comportarsi da zoticone = to behave like a lout

Just in case you want to alternate between pejoratives to confuse 'em.

appropriate v-word = rutti; 2nd Person singular present indicative (also subjunctive use) of the verb "ruttare" = to burp, belch

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Good words, all. I want to avoid creating the impression, though, that these guys are the sort of uncouth rustics upon whom city dwellers would look down. In fact, they are uncouth city dwellers upon whom anyone with good manners ought to look down.

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Yes, I understand; that's why I think the word(s) you need remains elusive. The image of the cigar in the mouth of an urban lout, boor, oaf, etc. replaced by a blade of straw is, indeed, an inaccurate one.

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The oldest of the zoticoni is, indeed, a lout in the old-fashioned sense -- coarse, loud and disagreeable, though he probably thinks of himself as ingratiating.

As for the others, it may be a matter of sociological interest that we can't seem to come up with an insult that matches them. For now, I'll just settle for "overgrown frat boys."

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"overgrown frat boys" Plug that into Google's Italian translator for a laugh. It "helps" to change frat to fraternity.

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

OK, now what's the Italian for "Superannuated frat boys high on Viagra, cigars, self-importance, bad manners and ear-splitting bonhomie"?

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Hmm, non lo so... Comunque, penso che Viagra e la stessa cosa in italiano...

Which loosely translated means that I'm better at Italian-English translations than English-Italian translations...

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

We're all better at translations into our own language than out of it, I think.

In any case, I am glad you never met any of these guys or any of the cabeças de vento who are apt to populate the club at any time.

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

I like the concept of a "private gentlemen's club" of the sort I used to read about in Regencies -- clubs like White's and Boodle's -- a decorous establishment where a _gentleman_ could go to relax, smoke (knowing how offensive this might be to the ladies of one's acquaintance), drink, play cards, etc. Men who did not prove themselves to be gentlemen were given the cut direct and perhaps even ushered off the premises. Unfortunately, "private gentlemen's clubs" is usually a euphemism for "strip clubs" today.

I'm afraid in my naivete I thought the P&P was of the Regency sort (perhaps with the club now open to members of the fairer sex, it being the 21st c. after all) until you explained otherwise.

March 23, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Uh,Peter, why do you frequent this club again?

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gentlemen's clubs ... adult films ... gender ... Oh, the euphemisms we throw up because we're skittish about the s-- word!

The P&P has never been quite the club you imagined, I think, though H.L. Mencken was a member. Of course, its heyday as a press club was a time when Philadelphia -- and most American cities -- had a press. These days, a vestige of that clings to a core that is largely the resaturant and bar trade -- waiters, waitresses and bartenders who come over after their own shifts are done, along with all manner of burini and louts and airheads.

Would a gentlemen's club in the old sense let someone like me in? I don't know. There's one other subset of customers I would not be ashamed to have you meet: an English professor at Penn, his lawyer wife, and their Ph.D.-bound Dantista friend. The lawyer is the one I mentioned who was all excited to show me her copy of A Little White Death.

March 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

seana said...
Uh,Peter, why do you frequent this club again?


Seana, you have an unnerving knack for getting at the heart of the matter.

March 23, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

seana, "Uh, Peter, why do you frequent this club again?" Being the presumptive sort, I just assumed it is a love-hate relationship for Peter (plus the nifty 4 AM closing time). I think I like your more direct approach.

Peter, re your "Would a gentlemen's club in the old sense let someone like me in?" Because you are a gentleman, you are automatically qualified.

The "gentlemen's club" entry at Wikipedia: By the late 19th century, any man with a credible claim to the status of "gentleman" was eventually able to find a club willing to admit him, unless his character was very objectionable in some way or he was "unclubbable"...This came to include professionals who had to earn their income...

March 24, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I know. It scares me too.

I wish I had the funds to create a gentlemen's fund for women. And, well, for men too. But not for anyone loud and pugnacious. Okay, they might be able to be loud and pugnacious, but they would have to pass my review board and most people simply wouldn't have the temerity for that.

March 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, I have always been at least mildly fascinated with the British institution of the club, at least as portrayed in fiction from P.G. Wodehouse's time and before. In that world, "my club" would be so much a part of any gentleman's accoutrements as to require no explanation. In Wodehouse's world, at least, almost every professional and vocational interest seemed to have a club of its own, and for women as well as men. I'm sure I would have found some club to take me in in prewar England. Wodehouse appeared as much interested in this world as I am. His stories include clubs with names like "the Junior Bird Fanciers" and "Junior Lipstick."

I had never heard or seen the word "unclubbable," but A Clubbable Woman is the first novel in one of English crime fiction's most enduring and successful series, and one of which I've liked the small portion that I've read.

Love-hate relationship is right. Also, the lack of anything better to do (this is not New York, after all), and the hope, satisfied just often enough to keep me coming back, that I will find congenial conversation. The nifty closing time is really closer to 3 AM, though.

March 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Okay, they might be able to be loud and pugnacious, but they would have to pass my review board and most people simply wouldn't have the temerity for that.

I have often expressed in the real P&P Club my fantasy of an alternate club in which the only rule would be "No jerks allowed." I have suggested that the current club post a sign to that effect outside the street entrance. Present conditions in Philadelphia would make such a rule economically unfeasible, I'm afraid.

March 24, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"'No jerks allowed.'...Present conditions in Philadelphia would make such a rule economically unfeasible, I'm afraid."

Peter, I'm afraid Los Angeles has cornered the market on jerks. Philadelphia must just have the overflow. No restaurant, bar, or any other place with food, drink, and/or entertainment could remain open if it were not for the unending stream of jerks in this burg. Where the sidewalks roll up at 10 PM (L.A. is not NYC, either).

March 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmmm,the Los Angeles Jerks sounds like the name of a minor-league sports team, probably in one of the independent baseball leagues.

I know there are jerks in L.A.; I've seen Woody Allen movies.

I was surprised to learn that Los Angeles has sidewalks, much less rolls them up at 10.

March 25, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"I've seen Woody Allen movies." God, am I now going to have to defend my hometown jerks from the insufferably smug East Coast Arts/Intelligentsia Establishment?! The types who sneer that "no one walks in L.A." (hence no need for sidewalks)?!

March 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Criminy, you Angelenas are sensitive.

March 25, 2010  
Blogger Fred said...

Question: did Chandler refer to the "mean streets of LA" or the "mean sidewalks of LA"? [g]

March 25, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Fred, he must've meant streets because we didn't get sidewalks until several decades after Chandler's death.

March 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Question: did Chandler refer to the "mean streets of LA" or the "mean sidewalks of LA"? [g]

Q.E.D.

March 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fred, he must've meant streets because we didn't get sidewalks until several decades after Chandler's death.

Maybe he was thinking of his time in Chicago or in England. Oh, wait. They don't have sidewalks in England, they have pavement.

March 26, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

California had its Pavement too.

...


Noone of you gets it, right? Sigh.

March 26, 2010  
Blogger Fred said...

Elizabeth,

That seems to answer the question, unless one wants to argue Chandler was being ironic or prophetic.

March 26, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The veil of mystery lifts.

March 26, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Of course I got it, Marco. Stockton, circa 1989?

Nah, I didn't have a clue. I had to look it up.

Hoping I get a half point for deductive reasoning, though.

World tour starting right now, appparently. Are they any good?

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Now, that Pavement, I had never heard of.

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter, best Pavement song of all time? range life although Cut Your Hair is pretty good too. I must have listened to their Crooked Rain album a thousand times, especially the first side. They were the masters of what used to be known as low-fi.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Nice beginning there. I thought for a second they were going to break into "Pale Blue Eyes."

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter, the only Velvet Underground album I have is the one with the banana on the cover and it's an age since I heard Pale Blue Eyes. Ten out of ten for the comparison, though.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

solo, I know I shouldn't speak for Marco, but I just know he is going to be so chuffed to know that someone knew what he was talking about without even cheating.

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

seana, I'm new here so the concept of Marco being chuffed isn't one I've quite grasped yet but if he's a Pavement fan he's alright in my book.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Peter, the only Velvet Underground album I have is the one with the banana on the cover and it's an age since I heard Pale Blue Eyes. Ten out of ten for the comparison, though.

And I am in turn reminded that Alejandro Escovedo says that when he was young and someone would ask, "Who do you like, the Beatles of the Stones?" he'd answer, "The Velvet Underground."

March 27, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

solo, Marco is either going to be a saint or the Italian Unabomber, although I think he'd find either role too limiting. But yes, I think one world you have in common might be music...

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

solo, I know I shouldn't speak for Marco, but I just know he is going to be so chuffed to know that someone knew what he was talking about without even cheating.

How does one say "I'm chuffed" in Italian, anyhow? "Sto chuffendo," I suppose.

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter, ignoramus that I am, I knew nothing about A. Escovedo, although I knew of his daughter Sheila E. through the Prince connection. Raspberry Beret is the Prince song that makes me go weak at the knees. In stark contrast I can also go weak at the knees listening to Julia Hamari singing Erbarme dich, mein Gott, um meiner Zähren Willen!
.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was too much of a blockhead to get the first Pavement reference. I had not heard of them until now. I'n such a clodpate that I did not even realize until this moment I was being made fun of. What will Marco think of me now?

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Land o' Goshen! I did not know until now that Sheila E. was A. Escovedo's daughter. I found out about Alejandro Escovedo just a couple of years ago. The man's good.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, I just found some sources that said she was his niece, not his daughter. Still ...

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

How does one say "I'm chuffed" in Italian, anyhow? "Sto chuffendo," I suppose.

Sono felice come una pasqua! I've got that from the internet, Peter. But it sounds very Italian, lots of waving of arms, etcetera, as opposed to the stiff upper lip of the English 'I'm chuffed.'

Golly, these national stereotypes are fun, aren't they?

March 27, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

As to Marco, I'd watch your back, Peter.

March 27, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Think yourself a clodpate, eh? You're getting ideas above your station, my lad. You're just a common jobbernowl.

March 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Golly, these national stereotypes are fun, aren't they?

The first day of my visit to Dublin, I saw Waterford and Kilkenny fans mingle and drink together in good fellowship, and I learned that hurling is a fast, graceful sport. I was disabused of a stereotype or two that day.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Will do, Seana. I'll watch my back lest he look down his nose.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's Mr jobbernowl to you, bub.

March 28, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

What will Marco think of me now?

Since you're Canadian, I'll probably call you
tragically unhip

I must have listened to their Crooked Rain album a thousand times, especially the first side.

Me too. I have a clear memeory of listening it on the way back home during a leave in my year of compulsory military service.


Speaking of comparisons, Tocotronic are often called the German Pavement. Did you like their songs Seana?

solo, Marco is either going to be a saint or the Italian Unabomber
...
As to Marco, I'd watch your back, Peter


You watch your back too.

How does one say "I'm chuffed" in Italian, anyhow? "Sto chuffendo," I suppose

You're mixing it with the Spanish "estoy chuffado". The Italian is "sono chuffato".

But it sounds very Italian, lots of waving of arms, etcetera, as opposed to the stiff upper lip of the English 'I'm chuffed.'

It is indeed more emphatic. You wouldn't use it to translate "I'm chuffed" in each and every context.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Uh, I meant in alternate universes, Marco.

I did like those Tocotronic songs. Particularly Harmonie ist eine Strategie, Dein Geheimer Name, and Gegen den Strich.

March 28, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

or the Italian Unabomber

By the way, that position is already taken

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Since you're Canadian, I'll probably call you
tragically unhip


An apt description, and your comic timing is impeccable.

You're mixing it with the Spanish "estoy chuffado". The Italian is "sono chuffato".

I think I've mentioned the time I got into a taxi in Rome in the pouring rain, and the cab driver somehow figured out I was not Italian and offered the following accurate observation: "Sta piovendo i cani e i gatti."

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I did like those Tocotronic songs. Particularly Harmonie ist eine Strategie, Dein Geheimer Name, and Gegen den Strich.

I don't know these songs, but the titles do have a certain zest.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

or the Italian Unabomber

By the way, that position is already taken


I would never suggest that Marco assume the terrorist mantle, though I once did suggest (jokingly, of course) that he was the one who rendered a service to the Italian state by popping the prime minister in the kisser.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Apparently Elvo Zornitta was acquitted, though, so the title might still be up for grabs. Besides, it sounds like Elvo just likes to blow things up--he doesn't really seem to have the political agenda to be equated with the unibomber.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Aha. So he was a terrorist from a more innocent time, then.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Well, if you call the late 90s and the early 2000s more innocent, then yes. He was just acquitted late last year.

But I suppose they might be more innocent than what's to come...

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I meant innocent in that he blew things up for the sheer joy of it. So many of us have lost that childlike quality.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Oh, right--violence for violence's sake. Nowadays, everyone seems to feel they have to have some sort of purpose.

March 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"If you make a revolution, make it for fun," as D.H. Lawrence wrote. There's too damned much purpose in this world.

March 28, 2010  

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