Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Jersey Italian

Fun: How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained (Atlas Obscura).

I would alter one pronunciation given in this piece: in my hearing, ricotta has never been pronounced ree-goat . It’s rih-GAWT . My friend Luanne Koper agrees.

*

11:12 a.m. An afterthought: as memories fade and people depart, it may become increasingly difficult or even impossible to reverse-engineer such pronunciations. I am resigned to never knowing the true Italian name (if there indeed is one) for the delicious stuffing that my grandmother made for holiday turkeys. The ingredients included eggs, ham, parsley, and raisins, and the result was known by the mysterious name ying-a dood-a .

Related posts
Bafangool! : Capeesh? : Parlando italiano a Brooklyn

comments: 6

Diane Schirf said...

The ingredients included eggs, ham, parsley, and raisins, and the result was known by the mysterious name ying-a dood-a .

Sounds like Yankee Doodle. :)

Michael Leddy said...

It does. No macaroni in it though. :)

Fresca said...

I haven't read the article you link to here yet, but when I was little, I noticed my Sicilian grandparents [in Milwaukee, not NJ] pronounced Italian quite differently than it was spelled or than TV presenters...

My Sicilian grandmother, for instance, always grabbed my cheek and said, "beddu".
Only when she was long dead did I learn that "dd" is the Sicilian "ll", and "u" for "o":
"beddu" = "bello".


(Hm. But why didn't she say "bedda" for girls? Wikipedia notes, "There are also many exceptions to this rule which are not always shared by Italian...."
Maybe that's why?)

Anyway, I loved learning this: felt like a little gift, an inheritance lying dormant, waiting for me to uncover it... She was only nine when she came over, but this remained...

Michael Leddy said...

I never heard either, though I received many a forehead kiss from my Italian-American grandfather.

Google turns up a lot for bedduand bedda . I think the only words I ever heard were the names of foods and marone . And from a kid at school, doozy pots .

Fresca said...

Paisan!

Michael Leddy said...

Or as Louis Armstrong said when asked to say something in Italian, “Pizza!”