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18 Words With Completely Different Meanings For Italian-Americans

Italian-Americans are different than regular Americans in a lot of ways! We pretty much have our own language... Pasta - What it usually means: A noodle dish, usually topped with sauce. What it means to Italian-Americans: Something you eat just about every day of your life.

 

Italian-Americans are different than regular Americans in a lot of ways! We pretty much have our own language…

 

1. Pasta

 

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Image: Giphy

 

 

 

 

What it usually means: A noodle dish, usually topped with sauce.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Something you eat just about every day of your life.

 

2. Tupperware

 

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Image: Amazon

 

What it usually means: A storage container for foods and condiments.
What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing your family brings with them to all family functions to store leftovers in.

 

3. Wooden Spoon

 

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Image: Amazon

 

What it usually means: A tool used for cooking.
What it means to Italian-Americans: A tool used for cooking… or for chasing misbehaving children around the house.

 

4. Sandwich

 

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Image: Wikimedia

 

What it usually means: What your parents packed in your lunchbox, usually filled with ham, bologna, or turkey with cheese.
What it means to Italian-Americans: What your parents packed in your lunchbox, usually filled with mortadella, prosciutto, or capicola, with mozzarella.

 

5. Gravy

 

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Image: Flikr

 

What it usually means: A brownish sauce made from the juices of cooked meat.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Another name for marinara sauce, much to the confusion of all your non-Italian-American friends.

 

6. Mother

 

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: A female parent.
What it means to Italian-Americans: That woman who calls you at least once a day to ask if you’ve eaten.

 

7. Tony

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: A boy’s name.
What it means to Italian-Americans: The name of all your uncles and male cousins.

 

8. Sunday

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: The day before Monday, usually meant for relaxing.
What it means to Italian-Americans: A day on which all your plans got canceled for an all-out feast with the famiglia.

 

9. Espresso

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: A strong, concentrated coffee.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Coffee made by your nonna with effects comparable to crystal meth.

 

10. Plastic

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What it usually means: A material used for making many common objects.
What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing that prevented you from ever knowing what the soft touch of a couch felt like as a child.

 

11. Moving Out

 

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Image: Giphy

 

 

What it usually means: The thing you do when you graduate college and/or have a job that allows you to be financially independent.
What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing you never do.

 

12. Conversation

 

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Image: Giphy

 

 

What it usually means: Words spoken between two or more people.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Yelling combined with hand gestures.

 

13. Grandmother

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: The mother of one of your parents.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Your nonna, the person who is responsible for your gaining at least 5 pounds every time you visit her.

 

14. Food

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: The stuff you consume regularly in order to live and function properly.
What it means to Italian-Americans: The stuff your nonna forces to you eat until the plate is clean — or else you’ll get yelled at or be asked, “You didn’t like it?”

 

15. Marriage

 

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Image: Pexels

 

What it usually means: When two people in a loving relationship are wed.
What it means to Italian-Americans: The thing your older relatives believe should be your main goal in life and press you about every time they see you.

 

16. Christmas

 

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Image: Pexels

 

 

What it usually means: A celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
What it means to Italian-Americans: An excuse to eat 15lbs of food (especially seafood, on Christmas Eve).

 

17. The Mob

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: A secret organized group of criminals.
What it means to Italian-Americans: The thing that one uncle who only makes appearances at weddings and funerals might be involved with.

 

18. Indoor Voice

 

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Image: Giphy

 

What it usually means: A softer way of speaking when you’re somewhere quiet/don’t want to disturb people.
What it means to Italian-Americans: Sorry, this word does not exist in Italian-American vocab.

 

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