#USSlang: Italian gangsters slang

I re-watched The Godfather trilogy last week and was inspired to write up an article about it. Yes, this article will be all about Italian Gangster Slangs! I guarantee this is one article you wouldn’t want to miss!

Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, groups of criminals who were also immigrants from Sicily gained notoriety in organized crime. They sought refuge from United States since they were considered as a threat to the Italian then fascist leader, Benito Mussolini.

Only after the downfall of the fascism in 1950s, La Cosa Nostra—Italian-American Mobs—rose to prominence in international illegal trafficking. Their influence wasn’t limited to drugs, arms trades, and other illegal sectors; even the language was affected.

Of course most of you are already familiar with the idioms such as “sleeping with the fishes” or “hit the mattress.” Or famous words such as ‘Don,’ ‘Tommy Gun,’ etc. Keep in mind that some of the slangs are absorbed to the pop-culture and the crime fighter’s lingo.

If you watch a lot of police procedural series like I do, terms such as “rat” for a snitch, “piece” for a gun, etc are somewhat familiar. Here are some of the slangs you might not familiar with:

  1. Borgata/brugad. Meaning: the crime ‘family’.
  2. Consigliere. Meaning: the counselor of the ‘family’. Handles disputes within the ranks.
  3. Omertà. Meaning: the code of silence to never sell out a member of the ‘family.’
  4. Shylock. Meaning: a loanshark.
  5. Babbo. Meaning: a derogatory term for ‘a fool.’
  6. Swag. Meaning: stolen goods.
  7. Fence. Meaning: someone with worldwide outlets to liquidate swag.
  8. Vig. Meaning: short for vigorish, interest payment from a loanshark/shylock.

Do you have more slang to add, fellas? Hit that comment box below!

It’s a wrap, fellas! Don’t forget to visit us often! See yaa!

Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, August 5, 2016

Related post(s):


8 thoughts on “#USSlang: Italian gangsters slang”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s