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OK folks...It's capocollo, not all the other misspellings and pronounciations

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I'm an old curmudgeon who hates to see a beautiful language tortured. Altho I am not of Italian descent, my wife is of that ethnicity, and all my descendents at this time have Italian genes. For that reason I have been taking informal courses for several years to learn "La bella lingua italiana" because our eldest grandson decided to take a short course in Italian one summer when he was in high school. I thought that he would need someone with whom to speak the language, so I started to learn it. YES, I'VE BECOME A PEDANT.

While reading some of the posts in HOME COOKING, I've come across the misspellings, and I will probably get replies from those who grew up in families which mispronounced it. My in-laws called 'gabbagall.' Fortunately, I never corrected them. And, yes I've seen the misspellings in deli counter display cases when I buy the sausage.

Capocolla indicates what part of the pig the meat comes from that is used to make the cured sausage. Capo is the word for 'head' and collo is the word for 'neck.' Therefore those parts of the pig anatomy are traditionally used to produce the 'salsiccia.' All the other spellings which refer to this form of salumi (cured meats) are either dialectic or just plain incorrect.

I now will get off my soapbox, and end my perfectionist discourse.

Vivi, ama, ridi e specialmente mangia bene!

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  1. Which dialect is this 'capocollo/a' from?

    4 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      In Italy it is known as 'standard Italian' which spoken during newscasts and written in articles.

      1. re: ChiliDude

        So if "collO" is the only correct spelling, what explains the use of "collA" in your third paragraph? Confused.

        1. re: acgold7

          That was a typo to see if you were paying attention! Really I am so poor at proofreading my tirades.

      2. re: paulj

        But the mispronunciation is probably Southern. We say "Cab'" for head, like the Spanish cabeza...hence the cabba or gabbagu'

      3. http://www.dibruno.com/blog/2008/04/1...

        http://www.modernistcookingmadeeasy.c...
        Other Names
        Capocollo, loin, capicola, capacola, capacollo, capacolla, Calabrese capicola, Sicilian capicola, cabbagall, gabagool, coppa Piacentina, capocollo di Calabria, ham capocollo, capicollo, capicolla, capocollo della Basilicata, capocollo del Lazio, capocollo dell Umbria, capocollo tipico senese

        http://www.sossai.net/salumi/alfabeti...

        Il capocollo, noto anche come capicollo oppure coppa, è un salume che può essere non piccante (come la coppa di Parma) oppure piccante (come i capocolli calabresi e pugliesi).

        15 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Add in Copa as well.

          1. re: paulj

            WOOWEE! Thanks for your input and for doing all that research. I hoped that some educated person would reply and evince all the incorrect spellings.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              I think you're putting words in paulj's mouth. He never said anything about any of the variant spellings being "incorrect".

              1. re: ChiliDude

                okay... it's *pronunciation* ...

              2. re: paulj

                I live in Italy (Milan) much of the year, and there it is known as coppa. Since so many food names in Italy are dialectic, often with very similar items having different names, it seems a bit silly to get too upset by a lack of "official purity" in usage. That being said, I do also get awfully tired of hearing "muzzarel" and "prozhut": it's one thing to hear words like these in Neapolitan dialect, it's another to hear them simply misprounced by americans, often descendants of immigrants who never spoke Italian (but only the local dialect) in the first place. Or by people who heard people, who......etc., etc.
                In Tuscany (the birthplace of official Italian) everyone I know says capicollo. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be officially capocollo.....

                1. re: swannee

                  It's harder than you think, though. I am part of that much-maligned group, the descendant of a grandmother who never spoke Italian but whose parents were from outside Naples; my grandfather was raised there. I grew up for the first 21 years of my life and everyone I knew said "muzzarel" or "prozhut" - I never even thought to say it differently until I had a boyfriend who tried to bully me into saying it "correctly" (he didn't last, as you may have guessed - his grandparents, by the way, were also from Italy, but his family had done everything they could to avoid those associations; this all makes me think as well, that there might be a class element at play, in that my family were factory folk, while his owned business and became quite wealthy here). To this day, over 20 years later, I still feel like an imposter if I say mozzarella like I am apparently supposed to.

                  1. re: Cachetes

                    It may be that I opened up a can of worms when originally posted this topic. "I miei antenati non erano italiani." All of my descendants have genes from other Italian grandparents, me being the exception. My romance with the Italian language started when our 1st grandson, now 26 years old, decided to take a short course at a local community college in the language during the summer between his junior and senior years in high school.

                    I'm still learning the language in classes after starting to learn it 7 years ago for his sake. None of his currently close relatives speak the language, and I thought it was incumbent on me to do so because he may have needed someone with whom to speak it.

                    When his teacher asked him "Where did your people come from?", his mother, our daughter, told him to call me. I am able to give this information about my wife's maternal and paternal grandparents as to town, province and region to him.

                    So now you may be able to understand my pedantic loyalty to 'standard Italian or proper Italian.'

                    While in Italy 3 years ago, I spoke as much Italian as I could, and the people there appreciated my attempts to speak their language instead of expecting them to speak mine. In fact, on one occasion while in Rome and having a meal at small family restaurant, 2 couples sitting at a table next to ours, struck up a conversation with me. They spoke no American (I don't speak English). 'Twas a great conversation with strangers in Rome.

                    BTW...Buona vigilia di Natale, buon Natale e buon anno.

                    1. re: ChiliDude

                      The love of languages is always a great thing, and your post shows us the wonders of using food to think about culture. To respond in my adopted language (due to my husband's family): Feliz Navidad!

                      1. re: Cachetes

                        I also created this posting due to my adoption of the language of my wife's ancestors. Little did I think that the post would cause such controversy. Of course, I realize that each little Italian community has its own dialect. However, the Italians hear standard Italian spoken on TV news, and read it in newspaper articles.

                        An email friend who lives in Genoa sends me news articles. A couple of years ago he sent one that indicated that only 20% of the people of Calabria speak standard Italian.

                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          From what I've always understood ( I took Italian in high school and college, but am far from fluent) every province, or maybe even many of the towns, were separate entities back before Italy became a united country. So each one's dialect is correct for their area. There is not really a "correct" Italian, unless you mean like British BBC, which no one really speaks in real life?

                          1. re: coll

                            And some argue that there isn't such a thing as 'Italian cooking', but rather 20 (or more) regional cuisines

                            http://www.rusticocooking.com/regions...

                            1. re: paulj

                              The regions are fairly recent political constructs and are very convenient for cookbook editors, who can then divide books conveniently into 20 chapters. The historical divisions of Italy do not correspond exactly to the regions, and thus dishes are attributed to, say, Lazio, when they historically belong to Abruzzo. What matters is not what political entity the dish came from but the geophysical or ethnic situation. Lazio, Abruzzo -- it's the Apennines that matter. Northern Tuscany has more in common with Liguria than with Florence. Southern Lazio (the Pontina) has much in common with Campania (the Kingdom of Naples began at Terracina), with some infusions of Veneto that came with the workers who helped drain the Pontine Marshes.

                              It is certainly convenient to talk about regional cooking in Italy, and everyone does, but the real gastronomic divisions are both much smaller -- valleys, towns, neighborhoods -- and larger, if we think of, say, grano duro and grano tenero in terms of their geographic distribution.

                    2. re: Cachetes

                      I grew up next door to an Italian neighborhood, had friends with moms, dads, and grandparents as first or second gen. I've always pronounced some words as you do: "muzzarel", prozhut" and also "mannighaut" (which is known as manicotti on menus.) For me to say manicotti sounds bizarre and foreign. Like an computer using a voice program.

                      My family background is, by the way, Scot/Irish/Fin/Swede - and I love my family's dishes.

                      However, I'll never forget how wonderful the food was eating dinner at my friend's houses! Unbelievably good, and they were all in the restaurant industry so I was so impressed as a youth.

                      I love it all.

                      1. re: breadchick

                        I grew up in an Italian family/neighborhood and it took me a while to figure out that the pronunciations you report are really transplanted Neapolitan ones--the speech of Naples and its surrounding region very often swallows final vowels and some syllables, even today. One famous example is "guaglione", or the Neapolitan word for yong boy/kid, most often pronounced (phonetically, more or less) "walyo", which, some claim, became shortened into the big city salutation "yo".

                    3. re: swannee

                      "That being said, I do also get awfully tired of hearing 'muzzarel' and 'prozhut'"

                      hmm...I have a hard time not saying "prozhut," as the Slavs I grew up with/around said it. In fact, it's even spelled pršut. :) Hope I get a pass at the market and restaurants!

                  2. ... Huh.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: WishyFish

                      Some deli tried to sell him hot butt cappy! :)

                      1. re: paulj

                        I've also heard that term used at a supermarket deli counter about 2 decades ago. I'd forgotten about that. That may be due to the fact that the supermarket chain has been out of business for more than 8 years.

                    2. Yo, Chilidude, I'm with you, but, given the reaction to the suggestion that panino might be used as the singular of panini some weeks ago, I'd advise you to choose your battles. Capocollo is indeed correct standard Italian, but there are so many variations in Italy itself (as opposed to panino/i or the meaning of latte, which all Italians agree on), that I don't see any future in defending the standard usage. I will say this: as far as I know, coppa is not the same as capocollo. I know this because I don't like coppa and do like capocollo. But there may be local variations I don't know about.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mbfant

                        I hear ya! As I said I'm an old curmudeon. I've retired for 15 years as of last September. I have time to raise hell online. There are so many varied dialects in Italy that people from neighboring towns have difficulty understanding each other.

                        My father-in-laws parents could not communicate with my mother-in-laws because they came from neighboring regions where the dialects were different.

                        I often ask people of Italian heritage if they know what a dish is that my mother-in-law made on Christmas Eve when Catholics were required to 'fast.' So far no one that I asked has come up with the name of the dish in standard Italian.

                        I would spell it as 'ughi ha' since I have never seen it written down. Phonetically I would pronounce it as 'ooghi ah.' This pronuciation originated from Petilia Policastro in the province of Catanzaro (before 1996) now Crotone in the region of Calabria.

                        In standard Italian it is 'olio e aglio.' It's garlic sauteed in olive oil which poured over spaghetti.

                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          In my haste to post the reply to mbfant, I made a few syntax blunders. I'm known for my poor editing of messages that I send. There are some commas missing as well as a word or 2.

                          1. re: ChiliDude

                            So how do you feel about using non-English words, like "ya", "father-in-laws" and "mother-in-laws"? Is it okay to get other languages wrong, just not Italian?

                        2. As far as I can figure, probably don't have a single DROP of Italian blood in my family tree. Personally, find it a little silly for a non-Italian to put their verion of the pronunciation on Italian food items... parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.

                          1. "Gabbagall" is the correct name around here: "Gabbagool" is incorrect. '-)

                            The delis usually spell it "capocollo" or sometimes cappocola; but if they call it "cappy ham" I don't trust them, I know it's probably Boars Head!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: coll

                              Right up there with bizghetti.

                              1. re: coll

                                C'mon, anyone who watched The Sopranos knows it's really called Gabbagool.

                                Took me years to figure out what they were talking about.

                                1. re: acgold7

                                  My favorite was Second City TV when they did the Godfather, and they were cursing someone and said "May the grease from your Gabbagool leak out of your sandwich and make a mess out of the bag" or something like that. Wish I could remember the exact quote but it was a good one.

                                  1. re: acgold7

                                    Where I live there are a lot of people of Sicilian ancestry. They definitely say gabagool. They also say "rigot" for ricotta. There's something about putting a "g" in place of the "c". Standing in line at an Italian deli where I am in N.Y, I hear it all the time. I just wish they'd take me home for a meal! Oh, and there's "pasta fazool" for pasta fagioli.

                                  2. re: coll

                                    I think I've created a MONSTER of a post. Thanks for your input.

                                    1. re: ChiliDude

                                      Threads on American versions of Italian words always seem to take off! Thanks for starting it, just in time for the holidays.

                                      And the aglio e olio, there is a version with anchovy that has a different name, maybe that's it? My husband's family adds anchovy but calls it aglio e olio anyway. They pronounce it ahyee ohyee, sort of. I will never forget the first time MIL made it for me and made me repeat the name until I got it right.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        Or until you "sort of" got it right?
                                        Oohwee owee

                                        1. re: porker

                                          Oh yeah, ahyee ohyee is as good as it gets with me.

                                  3. I did not realize "altho" was a word. Hmmm, you learn something every day.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: wadejay26

                                      Its an Italian word meaning "stovetop espresso maker"
                                      http://www.amazon.com/Altho-Stainless....

                                      1. re: wadejay26

                                        Here's another one for you. 'Gonna' is a word I also like to use instead of 'going to.' Just think of all the time I save by getting rid of 2 letters and a space.

                                      2. Wadejay beat me to it. CD, I love your posts, but with an opening salvo like that, you pretty much need to be careful with the first word of your second sentence.

                                        It's almost as if you are saying other languages deserve more respect than ours.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: acgold7

                                          'Twas not my intention! But I think that the adoption of foreign words into our language should be correct.

                                          1. re: ChiliDude

                                            But our language needn't stay as pure?

                                        2. Well, I think this illustrates what a slippery slope any of these discussions can be, especially when Italian foods, culture and language are concerned. I am as much of a pedant about language as anyone -- probably more -- but here I think we may be on shaky ground.

                                          I have no Italian ancestry but we've been fortunate enough to spend some time there and I spent a fair amount of time in college studying the culture. Okay, two quarters of Basic Italian and a year of Italian Cinema so I could meet girls and qualify for the Film Major. And we have a friend whose Grandmother is Sicilian. Plus The Godfather is my favorite movie of all time. So I think that makes me an expert.

                                          The way I've seen it used most often in our area is Capicola, but of course that doesn't necessarily make it right. It's important to realize that even in what we call Italy, a lot of folks don't think of the country as one unified nation, but still as a bunch of independent regions with similar but distinct languages, as they were until fairly recently in world history terms. Certainly a Sicilian would take offense if you called him an Italian and might have trouble communicating with someone from Piemonte (Piedmont) up near Switzerland.

                                          So it's to be expected there would be different terms, spellings and pronunciations for the same product.

                                          And these variations are largely based on tense and gender. Capi would simply be the plural of Capo and Colla is just the feminine of Collo. So I guess Capicolla is just made from many female hogs while Capocollo is a from a single male hog, like a single-vineyard designated wine, no? ;-)

                                          For what it's worth, my spell-checker keeps wanting to change everything to Capicola or Capicolla, so someone in officialdom must think those are correct in Microsoftland.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: acgold7

                                            D'accordo circa "The Godfather." I just watched it again within the past 2 weeks. Both Coppolla and Puzo had reservations about the movies acceptance before it was released and a box office success.

                                          2. Quite some time ago, I started a thread about pronunciation variations and things like dropped final vowels. (Think "mootsadell" for "mozzarella," typical in NYC region.) It emerged that most of the "far-out" ones derive from southern Italy and Sicilian, and in fact they are correct usage in the regions (that is to say, they are regular and rule governed).

                                            Even things such as saying "abeetz" instead of "pizza" is a rule-governed regionalism.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                              I LOVE abeetz with mootsadell and sazeetch!

                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                I am born and raised in New Haven and Ah-Beatz is what we get on Wooster Street from Pepe's and Sally's...............

                                                And Mozzarella does NOT come on apizza, it's an extra, the correct cheese is grated Romano.

                                                My father was a linguist who spoke, read and wrote 18 languages including 'Proper Italian' which he studied for 8 years. Dad always said about the immigrant Italo-Americans: 'they are illiterate in two languages.'

                                                They learned to speak dialect on the farms and in the American factories but did not learn to read or write 'Proper' Italian or 'Proper English.' That said it didn't keep them from becoming business owners and fine Americans.

                                                I kinow that if the sign says Apizza, I'll get a very good thin crust traditional Neopolitan pie, not some abomination such as served by the chains................................

                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                  Thanks for your input. My wife and I from the Chicago area grew up eating thin crust pizza when a pizzeria was family owned, not a franchised corporate pizzeria. I like your use of the word 'abomination' to described the current stuff peddled by the chains.

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    And terrible cooks. I wake up at night screaming in fear of a tsunami of sweet red mud descending on me.
                                                    You tell me where there is a good Italian bread bakery, wherever you may live in North America.

                                                2. Grazie, ChiliDude, mille grazie!!!!

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: jmnewel

                                                    Ero mio piacere!

                                                    1. re: ChiliDude

                                                      vuoi dire: è stato un piacere.

                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                        I meant to say "It was my pleasure."

                                                        1. re: ChiliDude

                                                          I know. The idiomatic (and grammatical) Italian equivalent of what you wanted to say is what I said.

                                                          1. re: mbfant

                                                            I have great difficulty with idioms and proverbs. Case in point...

                                                            Se canto non porto la croce. Literally, if I sing, I cannot carry the cross. Idiomatically, I can't do two things at once.

                                                            That is a masculine trait because my wife tells me how many things she can do at once.

                                                        2. re: mbfant

                                                          Era mio piacere? Or are you trying to say you were your own pleasure?

                                                        3. re: ChiliDude

                                                          I hate to see a beautiful language tortured.

                                                      2. In the Veneto where we spend a few months a year, it is usually called Coppa, but the translation for Coppa is cup, bowl, or in contemporary usage the Championship Cup of most sporting events is just called the "coppa"; and the muscle behind the head of a pig is also called coppa by butchers.
                                                        So there!!!! now we are all more confused!!! lol

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                          Where I was in Italy, "coppa" was brawn / headcheese.

                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                            Yes, coppa is a salume made from meat from the head.

                                                        2. Since so many foods of Italian origin have become a virtually essential part of the American culinary landscape (pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, etc...)--these foods have effectively become "American". Therefore, English speakers (or any speakers for that matter) are not all required to even attempt to pronounce it in the Italian way: for a simple reason: they're speaking English, and those "ex-Italian" words are basically English when in an English phonetic environment. The word "pizza" is pronounced somewhat differently in both language--despite the spelling being the same. By the same token, Italians have no duty to pronounce words of English origin as if they were English, or German ones as if they were German--an example is the word "wurstel" in Italian.

                                                          1. You mean gabbagool, of course. With the proshoot, and mozzuhrell, and mannagut.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                              But does anyone say "spaghett"?

                                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                pisghetti

                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                  I've heard people from South Philly say 'spaghettis' as if the word was not already plural without the 's' attached.

                                                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                    I've heard the same with people from Montreal with "rappinis"...

                                                              2. This exact subject has been discussed here on CH before, and I always chuckle thinking about what one poster wrote calling it 'yabba, gabba, goo'.

                                                                Gabba-goo --> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/47690

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                  Maybe what those who identify themselves as Italian Americans need is an Anti-Defamation League.

                                                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                    I think there are plenty of those groups. Didn't you hear about Wandering Dago?

                                                                    http://blog.timesunion.com/tablehoppi...

                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                      That's a new one to me! However, that derogatory term is one that would not bring me to buy anything from the vendor.

                                                                    2. re: ChiliDude

                                                                      I think everybody could use a little Yo Gabba Gabba
                                                                      in their lives, http://yogabbagabba.com/# or Fred Flinstone,
                                                                      whichever you prefer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpGx4f... .

                                                                  2. Dude
                                                                    Piacere di conoscerti.

                                                                    You do know that while Americans maybe the worst, all groups have a habit of butchering the pronunciation of other languages?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                      That's the point. In the end, there will be but one language. Think of how many have already been lost. When's the last time you read a cuneiform book on your Kindle? I can't even find an old Arabaic version of Luke's Gospel - not even an excerpt of the menu from the Last Supper.

                                                                      By the way - How old was King James when the bright star shone?

                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        Arabic? Why are you bothering with a derivative translation of Luke? You must read it in the original Greek. My better half who was a classics major tortured our early household years by insisting on reading the Illiad and Odyssey as part of the bedtime ritual for the kids, in Greek. When they were older, it was time for the Aeneid. We're such a pagan household.

                                                                        But our boy has quite the Latin vocabulary. Too bad everyone else who speaks it is dead, including dear old Jim. ;)

                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                          Thanks for pointing out my faulty post. I meant to type "Aramaic". But, who knows what was goin' on with "Old Luke" - way I understand it he was "just waitin' on the Judgment Day". I always figured since he knew how to spread the "good news", he knew when that would be. Seems Robbie Robertson, thought different.

                                                                    2. Just curious, is it "chili" or "chile"? Oregano and cumin or just ground peppers? Or, are we talkin' about a stew? Are beans OK? Tomato?

                                                                      Come to think of it, can Italian food use tomatoes and be "authentic"? What about potatoes? Garlic? I mean, boiled dough in the Mediterranean predates Marco Polo's folly, but, were Columbus's peppers any worse than those he thought he'd get? Seemed fine to use those red pods in the "Old Country", no?

                                                                      Life is finite. The Earth is finite. Languages evolve. Try speaking in Chaucer's English or Dante's Italian. Try "interpreting" the originals. Explore Socrates's thoughts about how the young were interpreting society. Someday it, inevitably, will all blend - no point in mass producing buggy whips . . . .

                                                                      Don't accept being an "old curmudgeon". Either accept the fact that the world keeps turning and learn to twerk or stop wasting our finite resources. If you can't bring anything to the table, go eat Christmas dinner in the car.

                                                                      "Hey, you kids. Get off of my lawn!"

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        RuPAUL should join forces with Miley Cyrus and remake SUPERMODEL to include the lyrics "You Better Twerk". I think it segues rather nicely, and best of all, the shock value to most curmudgeons goes completely unappreciated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vsgmW...

                                                                      2. Alternate pronunciations are just that, and as such are really not a big deal. Expecting my relatives from Napoli to make a grocery order in Carinola in the same Italian as my cousin in Milan is as much of a stretch as expecting Shelby from Axe Men to sound like me.

                                                                        Even in the U.S., we speak different "Englishes" everyday--never mind regional variations. I employ far less formal diction when speaking with my best friend or husband than I do with my college's president, or when writing an article.

                                                                        So on behalf my Italian relatives--both the professors and the factory workers-- we don't care how you pronounce capicola, capocollo or cabbagu'. Take the good with the bad--the aqueducts and the Dante with paddleboats and Berlusconi. Embrace the color and variations! Statt' buon'!

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                                          CENT'ANN'!

                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                            Buona fortuna!

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              In bocca al lupo!

                                                                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                Crepi!

                                                                          2. To the OP (and to the other Italian/Americans here in the CH community), is BASIL called "basilico" or "vasenicola" in your household? ... I am just curious.

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                              Basil here, and for my mother too when she was alive. An uncle would once in a while say Basilico but that's a long time ago.

                                                                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                In our household the word is 'basil', but if we used the Italian word for the herb, it would be 'basilico.' My wife's parents did not speak Italian in their home. That may be due to the fact that their parents came from different southern Italian regions, and my in-laws were accustomed to hearing different dialects.

                                                                                My in-laws pronounced Italian words that started with a 'c' and followed by an 'a', 'o', or 'u' as if they started with a 'g.' Capocollo was pronounced as 'gabbagall.'

                                                                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                  My BIL and SIL still cling to the old ways (and both younger than me) guess it's comforting since their parents both left this world too young. Unlike all four grandparents who lived into their 90s!

                                                                                  They would never say "basil" but rather bas a lee go, and artichokes are always car chi oof. I doubt either would be able to get by in Italy with the few words they know, but it is important to them to carry on their own tradition. Both maternal grandparents from Abruzzi and both paternal from Sicily, with the requisite regional quirks. I'm going to guess they spoke more northern, at least when it came to food! Ladies only in the kitchen, my husband is the same way. And all lived with them at some time or another. Somehow it works.

                                                                                2. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                  Basilico? Ain't that a church?

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                    LOL, no. (yes, but, no.)

                                                                                    Basilico is Greek for "kingly", as the herb was regarded to be "kingly".

                                                                                    In Italian, it is used to perfume tomatoes and tomato sauces

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      I assume that's a joke, but just in case ... basilica is the church, basilica the herb. Both, as Gastronomos says, derive ultimately from the Greek basileus, king.

                                                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                                                        You are correct. I felt the need to inject some levity into this pompous discussion. This Jew doesn't frequent churches regardless of spelling.....

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                          This one avoids houses of worship of any kind like plague except for weddings and funerals. I prefer not to go to the latter.

                                                                                        2. re: mbfant

                                                                                          Yeah, the herb is masculine, the church, feminine.

                                                                                          Learned that from Jeff Smith in about 1985.

                                                                                          1. re: mbfant

                                                                                            You spelled it identically, but meant a final "o" for the latter, right?

                                                                                            1. re: mbfant

                                                                                              Basilico = basil.

                                                                                        3. "I now will get off my soapbox, and end my perfectionist discourse."

                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9221...

                                                                                          Come on. Go for the hat trick.

                                                                                          1. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this sketch...

                                                                                            http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b7e6...

                                                                                            Hilarious.

                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                              Thanks for sharing, now I'm ready to get ready for Christmas Eve!

                                                                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                thank you. I just pissed mepants. that is so spot on. I can't stop laughing. I just shared this with all who I know from brookaleen

                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                  My husband's family is from Bensonhurst, so that makes it even better. It's on Facebook now, bet it goes viral. Merry Christmas to all!

                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                    mewife and her family hail from the brookaleen nabe of Dyker Heights (Daikah Aeets).
                                                                                                    I am going to need to calm down. my whole body hurts a lot. I cannot stop laughing. this is so SPOT ON

                                                                                                    Merry Christmas

                                                                                                2. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                  Yes, I got teased for "sangwitch" all the time.
                                                                                                  An old girlfriend in college loved the way I'd say the word CHAIR.
                                                                                                  The "R" in chair is silent if you're from Brooklyn or the Bronx.

                                                                                                  Check it out --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcp8rN...

                                                                                                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                                    "egzacly. I no what. fuck 'em." By the way, the "c" is silent in "fuck"

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                      MGZ, Fuhgeddabahdid if youze knows whadds goohd foh youze.

                                                                                                    2. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                                      You must be from Wusta!

                                                                                                      1. re: treb

                                                                                                        Wusta is what people from Boston pronounce Worcester; people from Worcester (at least old-timers) tend to pronounce it more like Wistuh. There are subregional variations in the local accent (hey, there was a piece recently about how the new mayor of Boston betrays generational shifts in the Dorchester accent).

                                                                                                        In any event, Wistuh has its own food scene and probably food pronunciation preferences, too.

                                                                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                          Didn't you read the OP???? It's wrong to have colloquial pronunciations of words. That whole town should be razed and it's inhabitants buried alive as punishment for perceived ignorance (unless, of course, they agree to become Yankees' fans).

                                                                                                  2. Since we're enjoying pedantry, in this sentence it's ami and mangi, not ama and mangia. Vabe'....

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: bob96

                                                                                                      not in the imperative, which I think was the intent

                                                                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                        Maureen, I took it to be second personal singular, which I felt more in tune with the informal sense and style of the speaker. Ma....

                                                                                                      2. re: bob96

                                                                                                        I think we are meant to understand that it's OK if the OP uses incorrect Italian (not here, but in several other instances), but when other English speakers do it, they must be called out and scolded.

                                                                                                        1. re: bob96

                                                                                                          It is correct as ama and mangia in the imperative.

                                                                                                        2. cap ah cole

                                                                                                          buzz la go

                                                                                                          manna got

                                                                                                          :D

                                                                                                          1. There's standard American English pronunciation, which you will hear from anchors on network news programs, and hosts of various syndicated entertainment and game shows, almost without exception. These seem to remain consistent regardless of regional changes occurring over time, like the vowel shift in which "better" is pronounced like "butter". On local programming, you are more likely to hear some regional dialect pronunciations from the on-air regulars. There are analogous differences in other countries.