Monday, December 8, 2008


A while ago I started to write down a list of Nanna-isms... things that my 84 year old Sicilian grandmother says that aren't quite italian but aren't quite english either. A lot of them are partly my fault... i grew up with mum, nanna & nanno in one house together and i tried to teach my grandparents english and nanna would try so hard to impress the friends that i brought home with her "enga-lish-y"

Debida - Tepid/Warm
OOOOOM *shouting and putting lots of emphasis on the ooo cos she can't quite get the W sound happening* - warm
i buuuuuunnns - the bones (as in chicken bones... most commonly used to tell guests to place the chicken bones in a particular plate in the centre of the table)
u cricketi - the cricket
u capitano di cricketi - Mark Taylor (usually when he appears in a fujitsu ad... reason being, I was obsessed with cricket back when Tubby was the Australian captain so i went through a stage of trying to "teach" nanna about cricket circa 1998 and yeah... he was my hero!)
garro/carro - car
gecko/cecko - cake
sprayare - to spray
bookare - to book
pushare - to push
spreadare - to spread
(seems we should just say the english word and add "-are" to make nanna verbs)
tatsamidi - geckos
gesso (J-ess-oh) - toilet (this made for fun times in year 3 italian class when i tried to convince my italian teacher she was WRONG and that "chesso" was NOT CHALK but TOILET! hmmph.
chipisi (chip-izzy) - chips
bogesi - boxes
beggi - bags
ass-a-screama - icecream (ass cream? nice. nanna. NICE! she's lucky my friends were always too polite to point this out)
chewygummy - chewing gum
macadonali - Macca's
Jaffali - Jaffles
Come-y Onni - Come on!
I awfendi - i'm offended (the face she pulls with this one is hilarious!)
No wanti - doesn't want
SooFA - sofa

Friends Names...
Benny - Ben
Rossolli - Russ
AnnaMaria - Ann Marie
LOL there are definately more but yeah... we have a lot of fun paying out on russ for his 'name'

Things that ARE Italian but i'm probably spelling incorrectly:
Giufa`... Giufa` is a guy.. i'm not sure if he's for real or not...but he was in a lot of stories my grandparents told me when i was little....he was basically the biggest idiot ever and did stupid things like when his parents told him to help bathe his sister with warm water and they said it was too hot he added MORE hot water and burnt her. WHOOPS. And like, he had to carry a heavy load of supplies on his shoulders and when he realised it was heavy... he went and got MORE stuff to carry! But basically, Giufa was this warning guy... if you were about to do something stupid as a kid, you'd be warned to not do a Giufa. Or something. Google It. Seriously, he's not just a nanna-ism, he's a wog-ism.

"Christo per cundo so`" (i'm pretty sure i spelt that all wrong) Basically means someone is acting as though they have a God of their own and are acting as though the world revolves around them and what suits them best.

"Quando Caccano Iddi" Literally translates to "When they poo" BUT Nanna (and now Ben & I) use this to refer to the waiting around that has to be done while someone else gets their act together... basically, the world revolves around that persons poo schedule and it's bugging you. That's when you say that.

Phew...that's all I've got for now.

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