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Popular Sicilian Words

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1. Minchia, vulgarly popular

Popular indeed. But it is with great reluctance we introduce you to this word. Why? Simply because it refers to the male organ. The Jimmy, the knob, the pecker.

Truth be told, Sicilians hardly ever refer to the dingaling when using the word. It may express amazement as well as anger. Sorrow as well as surprise. 

Considering the heavy burden, people came up with mizzica. Miiii, is another option. 

popular words minchia

Video Frank Zappa, tengo una mincha tanta

Frank Zappa had Sicilian roots. And always ready to shock, he gladly used the popular word in this song. 

2. Talè

Tale Donald Trump

Sicily has lived through many foreign occupations. And many left words and expressions that are now part of the Sicilian language. Talè could derive from the Arab taller. Which became taliare, to see in Sicilian. The imperative talè became popular. And could be translated as ‘look at that’ more than just ‘look’.

In Sicilian the last vowel is often prolonged. Talèèèè. 

3. Negghia

Negghia translates as a knick-knack. If not worthless surely useless. Things as well as people are defined by the word.

Referred to people it means someone is hopelessly incompetent. Leaving no room for improvement. Whereas referred to objects it expresses the nonessential character. One could state it is a nice word for rubbish.

a useless person

4. Camurria

venereal diseases have been popular over the years

Camurria is a very popular word. Due to its versatility. All together is translates as nuisance, a pain. As a noun it can refer to people and situations. It is also used as an adjective, camurriuso/a.

Seems camurria was a euphemism for a venereal disease. Camurria does sound better than gonorrhea.

One can add gran, or grandissimo/a before the word. It expresses being annoyed, angry and bothered, all at once.

5. Futtitinni, popular advice

The mere translation is highly unfair. Don’t care is only a part of the meaning. There is a specific reason for being so popular in Sicily. It is part of a philosophy, a way of life. Futtitinni is a reminder of seeing the bigger picture. Not let small nuisances -camurrie- ruin your day or life.

The best advice one can receive and give. Write it down and don’t forget.


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