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THIS CELEBRATION of mob vernacular has turned out to be more compelling than I expected. Yesterday, I didn’t even get through the C’s. Today in Part 2, I will be a trifle more selective.
My sources, by the way, include Wikipedia, The American Mafia Website, and the Mobspeak Glossary.
Chelski. Slang in Britain for a member of the Russian Mafia. Chelsea, the English Premier League football club (soccer to us Yanks) is owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Consigliere. A counselor to a family. (Not be be confused with “family counseling” in the health services sense.)
Cugine, coo-jean-eh. Young guys aspiring to become soldati. Literally in Italian, “cousins.”
Cybergata. A word coined by the John Gotti Tribute Page: cyberspace + borgata. Note: It’s advised not to go beyond the 1999 Salon.com article cited.
Don. The head of a borgata.
To Flip. To change to the opposition’s side, as in “That Hard-Case may well flip to Mueller any day now.” See Hard-Case below.
Friend of Mine, Friend of Ours. The distinction is crucial: Introducing a “friend of ours” implies family membership of the person being introduced. A “friend of mine” implies vouching for a non-member.
Goomah. A mistress; aka comare, literally “godmother” in Italian. Not to be confused with a goombah, an associate, especially a senior member of a family.
Hard-Case. A family lawyer, also known as a “Hard-on with a Suitcase.” Feminine: “Half a Hard-on with a Suitcase.” Where’s equal opportunity when it’s needed?
Madonn! An explicative, short for Italian Madonna, mother of Christ. Originally blasphemous, now equivalent to “holy smoke!” or, among Americanized Mustache Petes, “gee whiz!”
Mustache Pete. A family member from the old country, also today of an older generation. See Madonn!
Putana. A woman of ill repute. About whom my grandmother, rest her soul, once said, “Her?? She’s nothing but an H!” You must try Pasta Puttanesca. I assume you like anchovies, garlic, capers, black olives, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. I surely do.
I conclude with a mob phrase that might be useful.
Col tempe la foglia di gelso diventa seta. “With enough time and patience, even a mulberry leaf can become silk.”
Ever the optimist. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2018