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Old 05-28-2004, 08:14 AM
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"Hey, jadrool!"


In the song Mambo Italiano, there's a phrase "Hey, jadrool!" What exactly does "jadrool" mean?
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:28 AM
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It's slangy Italian and vaguely means "sucker" or "fool" to the best of my recollection.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
In the song Mambo Italiano, there's a phrase "Hey, jadrool!" What exactly does "jadrool" mean?
My recollection of my Italian relatives is hazy, but I think it literally means "cucumber" in slang, but figuratively, it means a schmucky person.
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:34 AM
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The word in Italian is "cetriolo," and yes, it literally means "cucumber." I always heard it used to refer to someone as an idiot or a moron. The precise shades of meaning probably have a lot of local variations.
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:48 AM
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How on earth does "cetriolo" get pronounced anything like "jadrool"? I've lots of Italians in my family, and I just don't see it.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
How on earth does "cetriolo" get pronounced anything like "jadrool"? I've lots of Italians in my family, and I just don't see it.
Well, if you start with "chay-tree-OH-loh," and say it fast and loose, it isn't all that far to "ja-DROOL."
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:14 PM
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I've noticed that written Italian bears almost no resemblance to the way most Italians in my family pronounce anything.

Pasta e fagioli becomes "pasta fazool"; ricotta is "reegawt", and I have yet to figure out how to spell the word I grew up hearing as "mishcombrool".
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:03 PM
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Just listen to how they pronounce things on The Sopranos --

Madonna --> Maron
capicolla --> gabbagool
comare --> goomah

All the unvoiced plosives [k t p] become voiced [g d b]. [o] becomes [u] ("oo"). And the ends of words are dropped off.
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:04 PM
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Oh, and other unvoiced sounds become voiced, like the "ch" [tS] sound becomes "j" [dZ}.
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:10 PM
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More:

compare --> goombah
cafone --> gavon
u'pazzu --> oobatz
stu cazzo or u' cazzu --> stugots
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:14 PM
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My understanding is that these pronunciations don't come from any authentic Italian dialect. Rather, they are from Italian-American pronunciations.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:25 PM
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Actually, a lot of those pronunciations come from southern Italian (e.g., Calabrese and Napolitano, er, "Nabolidan") and Sicilian dialects. There may well have been some morphing here in the New World, but given that I've heard native Italian speakers using such pronunciations I doubt the changes are extensive.

Just for fun, here's a glossary of terms used in The Sopranos (note: PDF file).
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Early Out
Well, if you start with "chay-tree-OH-loh," and say it fast and loose, it isn't all that far to "ja-DROOL."
Probably a stretch. I just can't make the connection.

Jadrool shows up in print in the 1960's. It, of course, probably existed before that in speech. But none of my sources offer a derivation from a specific word. They mostly include it with other words, many of which come about in American-Italian English.
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Old 05-28-2004, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish
Actually, a lot of those pronunciations come from southern Italian (e.g., Calabrese and Napolitano, er, "Nabolidan") and Sicilian dialects. There may well have been some morphing here in the New World, but given that I've heard native Italian speakers using such pronunciations I doubt the changes are extensive.

Just for fun, here's a glossary of terms used in The Sopranos (note: PDF file).
That website might be fun, but when it says that goombah comes from a ...[Southern Italian] dialect form of "compaesano" ....

...he's just not likely correct. As others have said, it almost certainly comes from compare.

Without trying to sound combative, where did you hear those native Italian speakers using such pronunciations? In NYC or Italy? How long had they been in the US? It would be fascinating to go back 50-75 years in Italy and see if you heard the kinds of pronunciation that you would more likely hear in an Italian-American neighborhood in NYC.
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:24 AM
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Well, my family is half Sicilian and half Napolitano. When I was growing up, my great-grandparents on Dad's side and my grandfather on Mom's were the only truly native Italian speakers in the family and any pronunciation I know came from them. On Dad's side, Nonna spoke perfect English with no accent whatsoever, but Papa never really got the hang of English and in fact sounded rather a lot like Father Guido Sarducci. Grampa (Mom's dad) spoke Italian exclusively until he was in his early 30s. All of these people came to Chicago directly from Italy between 1912 and 1924. I grew up hearing Italian a lot, but never learned to speak, read and write it really (although I can swear fluently in Italian). My grands used to speak to me in Italian and I would answer in English.

With all that in mind, I'd have to say that the "pidgin" Italian I've heard on the Sopranos sounds awfully authentic to me.
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Probably a stretch. I just can't make the connection.
I already told you the connection. Apply these rules:

1. Unvoiced consonants become voiced
2. [o] becomes [u], Complex vowel and consonant clusters are simplified; vowels in unaccented syllables tend towards schwa [@]
3. The endings of words are dropped

so

ce-tri-o-lo [tSe-tri-o-lo]

Apply rule 1.

--> je-dri-o-lo [dZe-dri-o-lo]

Apply rule 2.

--> j@-dru-lu [dZ@-dru-lu]

Apply rule 3.

--> j@-drul [dZ@-drul]
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:24 AM
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acsenray - can you do that process in reverse? Because I'd REALLY love to know where that "mishcombrool" thing might have come from, and I haven't been able to find anyone to translate it for me.

(FTR, as far as I can tell, it means "all messed up.")
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Old 05-29-2004, 06:39 PM
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acsenray. Thanks. I didn't truly read your explanation before I posted.

I was probably more concerned that it almost certainly comes from Italian-American rather than pure Italian. Like so many of the slang Italian words from the last 50-75 years.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:09 PM
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