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INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN WORDS

Published November 3, 2014 by Tony

 

Italian Loanwords in English

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language. To indicate the use of English words in common Italian language we say “inglesismo”, to mean Englishism or Anglicism.
The heavy penetration of “English words” in the Italian language, especially in the workplace, gives no sign of stopping. A recent study on the use of English words used by Italian companies found that the use of Anglo-Saxon’s terms has increased almost 800% over the past 8 years.
But I have wondered, what about the opposite?
After a brief search, I noticed that there are indeed a lot of Italian words used in English. Given that the Italian language is not as widespread as English, we need to take a step back in time to better understand the intrusion of these terms in English/American vocabulary.

At the end of the sixteenth century among the Queen Elizabeth Tudor’s subjects some compatriots were blamed those not for only study and made a display of their Italian knowledge, but because posing as imitators of the Italian model in behavior and  fashion, literature and painting, business  and in the art of the sword…… mindset that thereafter characterized the Anglo-Saxon way of looking at Italy and towards Italian things: admiration and contempt, acceptance and rejection, prejudice and amazement at the same time. We find a wide track of all this through the history of Anglo-Italian relations, which is made up of businesses, books, and travel.
At that time, we already find some Italian words used in English and that, over the centuries, have become common in their language, enriching their vocabulary and expressive possibilities. BANK, BANKRUPT, CASH, and RISK were terms that ultimately came from the Italian words “banca”, “banco”, “bancarotta”, “cassa” and “rischio”. Nowadays, the weight of this new dictionary may not be able to redress the balance which lately, on the other side, has a large number of Anglicism in Italian. However, I realize that we are not only  “debtors” because in any contact between different languages (as well as between human beings) the “giving” is always accompanied by the “having”, and vice versa.
The first Italian lexical borrowings in the English language belong to the economic and financial entourage, as the term DUCAT, with reference to the first golden “ducato” created by the Doge of Venice in 1284, as well as the term MANAGER derived from “maneggio” which in Italian means to train the horses.
The situation changes radically – for quantity and quality of Italianisms – when in the second half of the sixteenth century the Italian Renaissance reached England. Through the study of the Italian language gentlemen and British courtiers intended to approach a superior civilization and achieve the perfect ideal of the Renaissance man, so that the influence of language was closely related to the literary and cultural heritage, and it is easy to illustrate the presence of English Italianisms in areas where Italy is a Renaissance model of excellence:
• arts and architecture, GESSO, STUCCO, CUPOLA, DUOMO, BELVEDERE and PIAZZA;
• poetry, song and music, CANTO, MADRIGAL, SONETTO, STANZA, DUO and VIOLIN;
• military and fortifications, IMBOSCATA and TO IMBOSK, ARSENAL and RIPARE;
• mathematics and geometry, ALGEBRA, SQUADRANT and SQUADRATURE;
• trade and finance, BAZAAR, TO SALD (from “saldare”), TARIFF and TO INVEST.

Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries some contingencies bring the English’s world to turn its back to Italy: Charles I (1625-1649) married a French princess, as the interlude Puritan Commonwealth (1649-1660) could not bring Englishmen to look at Italy with favor, abut as an abhorred focus centre of a Catholic cradle and immoral Machiavellianism…. so, during the seventeenth century the Italian loanwords only involve some specific areas – such as botany and natural sciences, mathematics, geometry, and fortifications.
•    PISTOLETTO, STILETTO, CAPITANO;
•    AMOROSO, BECCO, CANAGLIA, CAPRICCIO, ESTRO, FURIOSO, GENIO, INCOGNITO, RUFFIANO, VOLPONE; CATSO!
(from cazzo), CRIMINE;
•    BERGAMOT, GRANITO, GROTTO, LIBECCIO, SCIROCCO,  VOLCANO;
•    GUGLIO, OVOLO, PILASTREL, ANTICAMERA, BALCONY, CAMPANILE, PALAZZO, PORTICO, STANZA, VILLA; BUSTO, CHIAROSCURO, INTAGLIO, MEZZOTINT, MINIATURE, MORBIDEZZA, PIETA’, PROFILE, PUTTO, SCHIZZO;
•    BURRATINE
(from “burattino”), ENTRATA, LITERATI and LETTERATO, PUNCHINELLO, ROMANZA, ROMANZO; ALLEGRO, BARITONE, CANTO, CAPRICCIO, LARGO, PIANO, PRESTO, RECITATIVE, RITORNELLO, SONATA, TRILL, VIOLINIST, VIVACE;
•    CAMBIO, TO DISCOUNT
(da “scontare”), ENTRATE, MONTE DI PIETA’, PREMIO (to mean insurance premium, from “premio di assicurazione”), LIRA, PAOLO, SCUDO;
•    GRECO, LIATICO, BRENDICE (from “brindisi”), BROCCOLI, FRITTADO
(from frittata), MORTADELLA, PASTA, POLENTA, VERMICELLI;
•    BULLETIN, CONSULTO, GIUNTA, INTRIGO, MANIFESTO, PAPESS, QUIETISM
and QUIETIST, RISGO(E) (from “risigo” or “risico”), SBIRRO, SCALDABANCO (to mean a ‘fiery preacher’), SPIRITATO ( to mean ‘driven by excessive religious zeal’).

Many of these Italianisms are now archaic or obsolete, but on that period they had their influence; if it is true that during the seventeenth century the British looked at France and not Italy as a cultural model,  it is equally true that in this century the French language acted as a mediator to spread in English other Italian loanwords, like TO ATTACK, BAGATELLE, BARRACK, CARTOON, CHARLATAN, GAZETTE, MUSKETOON, RISK, SPINET, VALISE  and VEDETTE.
This tendency vanishes in the eighteenth century, when British were by now aware to have acquired a certain cultural independence from foreign models. In regard of Italian world, this independence gradually develops thru various attitudes: an initial total denial, as if the British were ashamed of having taken Italy as model. Then the attention increases because they tried – as English travelers on the Grand Tour made –  to find
the vestiges of a glorious past thru the actual ruins.  Finally, a renewed interest for the work in Italian music and picturesque landscapes of Italian artists comes.
•     ADAGIO, ALLEGRETTO, ANDANTE, ARIA, BALLATA, CASTRATO, CONCERTO GROSSO, CONTRAPUNTIST, CRESCENDO, DUET, FAGOTTO, FALSETTO, FANTASIA, FORTE, FORTE-PIANO, FORTISSIMO, LIBRETTO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, OPERETTA, PIANISSIMO, PRIMA DONNA, SERENATA, SINFONIA, SOLFEGGIO, SOPRANO, STACCATO, TENORE, TERZETTO, TOCCATA, TUTTI, VIOLA, VIOLONCELLO, ZAMPOGNA and ZUFOLO;
•     TERRENO, TONDINO, STACCATURE (from “stuccatura”), ALFRESCO, BAMBINO, CINQUECENTO, CONTORNO, GUAZZO, TO IMPASTE, IMPASTO, PASTICCIO, PORTFOLIO, RITRATTO, SMALTO and TORSO;
•     BRIO, CICISBEO, CONVERSAZIONE, CON AMORE, IMBROGLIO, LAZZARONE, SOTTO VOCE
and VILLEGGIATURA;
•      BRECCIA, LAVA, SOLFATARA, TERRA SIENNA (from “terra di Siena”), TUFA
(from “tufo”), and VULCANIC;
•      FINOCHIO
(from “finocchio”), MARASCHINO, MINESTRA, SEMOLINA, and STAFATA (from “stufato”).

And what about the nineteenth century? Ugo Foscolo, who took refuge in London,  about Italian in England he wrote, “A lot of them study it, a few learn it, everybody presume to know it”. The interest in Italian literature is an elitist thing, for Romantic poets and Victorians….. more effective is the interests of some British who are passionate about Italian opera, or to orient themselves at least a little while traveling and living in Italy, a lifestyle that represent itself again after the collapse of the Napoleonic empire. The fact is that in the nineteenth century the Italianisms welcomed by the English language  are really a lot and more than in the past:
•    ACCELERANDO, AGITATO, A CAPPELLA, ANDANTINO, BASSET-HORN, BATTUTA, BEL CANTO, CADENZA, CANTATRICE, CAVATINA, CEMBALO, CONCERTINO, CORNETTO, CORNO, DIVA, DUETTINO, FLAUTIST, FLAUTATO, FUGATO, FURIOSO, LAMENTOSO, LEGATO, MARCATO, MARTELLATO, MOSSO, MUSICO, OBOE D’AMORE, OBOE DA CACCIA, OCARINA, ORGANETTO, PIANIST, PIZZICATO, RALLENTANDO, ROMANZA, SCHERZO, SESTET, SFORZANDO, SFORZATO, SMORZANDO, SMORZATO, VIBRATO, VIOLA DA BRACCIO, VILLOTTA;
•    ABBOZZO, AMORINO, BAROCCO, CORTILE, GRADINO, GRAFFITO, INTARSIA, INTONACO, LUNETTA, MANDORLA, REPLICA, SCENARIO, SCUOLA, SEICENTISMO, SEICENTIST, SFUMATO, STUDIO, TEMPERA, TEMPIETTO, TENEBROSO, TERRIBILITA’, TONDO, TRECENTO;
•    AGRODOLCE, CANNELLONI, GNOCCHI, GRISSINO, LASAGNE, MARASCA, RAVIOLI, RICOTTA, RISOTTO, SALAMI, SEMOLA, SEMOLETTA, SPAGHETTI, STRACCHINO, TAGLIATELLE, ZABAGLIONE, ZUCCA; ALEATICO, CHIANTI, GRAPPA, GRIGNOLINO, MALVASIA, ROSOLIO, VERNACCIA;
•    BECCACCIA, BOCCA
(referring to  volcano), BORA, FATA MORGANA, FIUMARA, LAPILLO, MACIGNO, MAREMMA, OVER-MOUNTS, RIVA, TERRA ROSSA, VOLCANELLO;
•    JETTATURA, MAESTRIA, MATTOID, REFASHIONMENT
(from “rifacimento”), SIMPATICO, VENDETTA;
•    BERSAGLIERE, CARABINIERE, CARBONARI, IMBROGLIO, IRRENDENTIST, MAFIA
and MAFIOSO, MUNICIPIO, QUIRINAL, RISORGIMENTO, SANFEDIST, SINDACO, TRIPLICE; ABBATE, CAPPA, MANTELLETTA, TRIDUO, ZUCCHETTO;
•    STORNELLO, TERZINA, FESTA, CONFETTI, DOLCE FAR NIENTE, CREDENZA, FIASCO, PADELLA, COMMENDATORE, CONTESSA, DONZELLA, RAGAZZO.

Passing from the nineteenth century to the century just ended, it is first evident that the dynamics of Anglo-Italian relations are conditioned by the increasing opportunities and ways of contacts: trade and international relations, leisure travel and migration, means transport, and mass media make easier any linguistic, literary and cultural exchange. Although the Italian spoken by immigrants and the one taught in schools in English-speaking countries have set up, in the course of the twentieth century, an opportunity for contact interlingua for hundreds of thousands of speakers, it is reasonable to conclude that a genuine Italian influence on British and American English has exerted primarily by other means and other ways, as the following list of Italianisms shows:
•    music, songs and dance: CODA, LAMENTO, SINFONIA CONCERTANTE, SINFONIETTA, SOPRANINO, SPINTO, STAGIONE (often as STAGIONE LIRICA), STILE ANTICO, STILE CONCITATO;
•   
art and architecture: BOTTEGA, BOZZETTO, FUTURISM, GIOCONDA, MODELLO, PALIOTTO, PENTIMENTO, RICORDO, SEICENTO, SETTECENTO, STUDIOLO, VEDUTA, VEDUTISTA, VERISMO; PIANO NOBILE, SALONE, SALOTTO, SOTTOPORTICO, TRAVATED (from “travata”), TRULLO;
•    natural sciences and geophysics: MAESTRALE, PONENTE (or PONENTE WIND), SALITA, SPINONE;
•    scientific and technical terms: CHROMOCENTRE, EQUICONTINUOUS, FANGO and FANGOTHERAPY, FAVISM, GIORGI (or GIORGI SYSTEM), HOLOGENESIS, ISOTACTIC, OLIGOPOD, ORTICANT, RICCI (or RICCI TENSOR), ROSASITE, SECCHI (or SECCHI’S DISC), UREOTELIC, YOTTA (from prefix y- before the number “otto”,  to mean ‘10/24’);
•     technical-industrial
terminology: FERRO-CEMENT, IMPASTO, PUNTA, TERITAL, TERRAZZO;
•    religion: AGGIORNAMENTO, PAPABILE, QUARESIMAL, ROMANITA’;
•    economics and Politics: BABY PENSIONS (from “pensioni baby”), BLACK JOB, BLACKSHIRT, BOSSISMO, DESISTENZA, DUCE, EUROTAX or TAX FOR EUROPE (from “Eurotassa”), FASCI, FASCISM, GIOVANI IMPRENDITORI, GOVERNISSIMO, GOVERNTMENT OF NATIONAL UNIT, GREENSHIRTS, HISTORIC COMPROMISE (from “compromesso storico”), LOTTIZZAZIONE, MANI PULITE/SPORCHE,   or meanings like CLEAN/DIRTY HANDS, NORD-NAZIONE, PADANIA and PADANIANS, PADRONI, PARTITOCRAZIA, POTERI FORTI, RED BRIGADES (from “Brigate Rosse”), SACRO EGOISMO, SALOTTO BUONO, SCALA MOBILE, SQUADRA, SQUADRIST, TANGENTI, TANGENTOPOLI, BRIBE CITY, BRIBESVILLE e KICKBACK CITY, TRASFORMISMO, WHITE SEMESTER, UOMO DELLA PROVVIDENZA;
•    society: AGRITURISMO, ANIMALISTA, ANTI-MAFIA, BIENNALE, CAPO (or MAFIOSO), CAPO DEI CAPI, BOSS OF BOSSES, CADAVERI ECCELLENTI, CLOSED HOUSES (from “case chiuse”), COSA NOSTRA or OUR THING, CRAVATTARI, DOLCE VITA, DON, FERRAGOSTO, GOOMBAH (to mean a ‘mafioso’), MAFIAIST e MAFIAISM, MAFIA-BUSTING, MAFIA-FIGHTERS, MAFIA-LINKED, MAFIA-RIDDEN and MAFIA-STYLE, MAXI TRIAL (from “maxi processo”), MEN OF HONOUR), OMERTA’, PAPARAZZO, PASSEGGIATA, PASTICCERIA, PENSIONE, PIZZERIA, PRINCIPE, REPENTED (to mean informer), RISTORANTE, SACRA CORONA UNITA, SCUGNIZZO, SETTIMANALI ROSA, SOVRINTENDENZA, TIFOSI, TOMBAROLO, VENTETTIST;
•    roles, behaviors, individual and social attitudes: BIMBO, FURORE, JETTATORE, MAMMISMO, NOIA, NUMERO UNO, VITA NUOVA, VITELLONI;
•    food and beverage: ABBACCHIO, AGNOLOTTI, AL DENTE, ANTIPASTO, ARAGULA (from “RUCOLA”), BEL PAESE, BRUSCHETTA, CACIUCCO, CALABRESE, CALAMARI, CALZONE, CANNOLI, CAPRETTO, CARBONE DOLCE, CARPACCIO, CASSATA, CIABATTA, CORNETTO, COSTATA ALLA FIORENTINA, CROSTINI, FETTUCCINE, FRITTATA, FRITTO DI MARE o FRITTO MISTO, FRITTURA, FUSILLI, GUANCIALE, LINGUINE, MACEDONIA DI FRUTTA, MANICOTTI, MARINARA, MASCARPONE o MASCHERPONE, MOZZARELLA, MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA, OSSO BUCO, PANCETTA, PANETTONE, PANFORTE, PARMIGIANO, PECORINO, PENNE, PESTO, PEPPERONI (or PEPERONI), PINZIMONIO, PIZZA, PORCHETTA, PROSCIUTTO (or PROSCIUTTO HAM), PROVOLONE, RADICCHIO, RIGATONI, ROMANO (or ROMANO CHEESE), SALTIMBOCCA, SANGUINACCIO, SCALLOPINI (or SCALOPPINE), SCAMPI, SCUNGILLE (from Neapolitan “scunciglio”), SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA and ALLA CARBONARA, SPAGHETTINI, SPUMONI (from “spumone”), STELLINE, STRACCIATELLA, TALEGGIO, TIRAMISU, TORTELLINI, VITELLO TONNATO, ZABAGLIONE, ZEPPOLE, ZITONI, ZUCCHINI, ZUPPA, ZUPPA INGLESE, and the saying MMEDITERRANEAN DIET; AMARETTO, BERBERA, BAROLO, CAPPUCCINO, DOLCETTO D’ALBA, ESPRESSO, FRASCATI, LAMBRUSCO, LUNGO e MACCHIATO (referring to the coffee), MOSCATO, NEGRONI, MARTINI, PROSECCO, PUNT E MES, RICCADONNA, SAMBUCA, SASSELLA, SOAVE, SPUMANTE, STREGA, VERDICCHIO, VIN SANTO, VINO DA TAVOLA, and the saying DENOMINATION OF PROTECTED ORIGIN;
•    various words ARRIVEDERCI, AUTOSTRADA, AZZURRI, BALLERINA (or BALLERINA SHOE), CANTINA, CIAO, FATTORIA, FRECCE TRICOLORI, GALLERIA (to mean a place with many shops, “galleria di negozi”), GROSSO MODO, LIBERO  (from soccer technique), MANCIA, MEZZOGIORNO, MILLE MIGLIA, PICCOLO, PINOCCHIO, RIONE, SALUMERIA, SCOPA, SCUDETTO, SCUOLA MEDIA, SCUSI, (LA) SERENISSIMA, SPAGHETTI WESTERN, SPREZZATURA, STRAMBOTTO, SUFFIXOID,  TELEFONINO, VESPA, CINEMA.

  This is a partial list of known or supposed Italian loanwords in English, but if you wanna know more take a look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Italian_origin
But, if we take as reference the ancestor of the Italian language, the LATIN, and old widespread language, then the loanwords increase dramatically, especially in medicine, religion and art (as the sayings: posteriori, a priori, ad infinitum, carpe diem, casus belli, de facto, de jure, et cetera, ex parte, habitat, in camera, in medias res, ipse dixit, lingua franca, memento, non plus ultra, pax, persona (non) grata, per capita,  post partum, pro forma, sine die, sine qua non, sui generis, summa cum laude, tabula rasa.) Read this page to know more: http://www.liceovittorioemanuele.it/download/accardo/accardo.htm

 

 

Reference:www.treccani.it/magazine/lingua_italiana/speciali/nazioni/iamartino.html.

NEAPOLITAN IDIOM

Published March 12, 2013 by Tony

NEAPOLITAN IS A LANGUAGE

Neapulitan


Few people know this, but the UNESCO recognizes the Neapolitan (nnapulitano) as a real language, and not only as a dialect.
According to UNESCO, it is the most widely spoken language of Southern Italy, the most spoken after the Italian language, and immigrants aside, it is estimated to be from 7.5 to 11 million people who know this idiom.

But this is easily explained if we think that this dialect was the official language at the time of the Kingdom of Naples, which replaced even Latin in official documents by a special decree of King Alfonso of Aragon in 1442. Kingdom which at that time included the territories of Campania, Basilicata, Abruzzi, Marche, Molise, northern Calabria, northern Puglia, southern Lazio, and part of Umbria.

It was a language and we still have to think about it this way, given that it still retains its dignity and is spoken and known by a so large number of people.
Then, do not forget that it has always been one of the most exported and known “Italian dialects” abroad, thanks to the classic Neapolitan song, one of the greatest artistic expressions of Western culture that for more than a century spreads the beauty of this language throughout the world. The Neapolitan (like Sicilian) has a rich literary tradition, a Romance language (meaning a language derived from Latin) so melodic that even the authors of the lyric genre relied on it for more catchy musical works.
However, the UNESCO also included the Neapolitan language among the most “vulnerable” ones, as, indeed, all the other dialects in Italy are. The Neapolitan idiom is not at risk of extinction, as the other dialects, and its classification as “vulnerable” comes rather by the grammar, phonetics and spelling’s rules distortion, that this idiom has undergone. In fact, during the decades the spoken Neapolitan has been altered, but the written Neapolitan is the one that undoubtedly has more been subjected to changes.

Just to give an example, someone today would write:
nu sacc caggia di pe fa n’esempio” (I do not know what to say to make an example)
while the more correct form should be:
nun saccio c’aggia dicere pe’ fà ‘n’esempio”

The main reason of the increasingly Neapolitan language’s degradation is due to the lack of any kind of teaching both by private and public, remaining a language transmitted “orally” and not “academically”. In all local schools the Italian and English are subjects of study and not the Neapolitan. The lack of teaching led new generations to know very little about the “original” written language, while the spoken language is continuously contaminated through slang, with young people who change some words and forget the meaning of others.
In Naples, very few young persons are able to write the Neapolitan properly today, and everyone, young artists included, prefer to write it simply transcribing the vulgar form how they pronounce it. The result is a deformed Neapolitan, which varies according to the person who writes it and that often becomes even difficult to interpret. Although for long time Institutions have been talking about “protection and enhancement” of the Neapolitan language, to date nothing concrete has been done.

 

FLYING NANNY

Published February 6, 2013 by Tony

AU PAIR PARENTS


The idea of students staying for few weeks with host families in different countries of the world, has been successful because it is one of the easiest, practical and economical way for boys/girls to stay in a foreign country and learn traditions, customs and language. Recently also is spreading the new idea, to take advantage of older people, parents or grandparents in fact, who wish to visit another country, and staying with families that do need someone, in their absence, as babysitter and to take care of their home.
Flying Nanny is a form of child care independent of time and place.
I’m thinking of the opposite thing instead, where it is not the student to move, but a parent that does it.

The idea that I’d like to develop is similar to “au pair” students but with different assumptions, namely that the host family is looking for “flying nanny” not by their absence, but on the contrary, for people from other countries to stay together and able to teach to their kids a new language – or perfect it – sharing customs and traditions. It would, indeed, a mutual exchange, with grandparents perfecting local language and culture, and the host family that does the same, with regard to the language and customs of the country from which the “flying nanny” comes from. A sort of foreign “au pair parents” that in exchange for spending time with the kid, teaching their language and taking care of them, in case of a short absence of parents, receive room and board. An interesting and inexpensive way to have both what they are looking for and for free. 

The organization I’m thinking about and that would like to pursue, should create a database of Italian intended parents and the country in which they would like to stay, with the one of families who are looking for an Italian parent for themselves of for their kids. Combining data and, where both requirements are met, then put people in touch with each other.
Simple and easy.

In this regard I would like to know who is interested in this idea and want to share it seriously.

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NEAPOLITAN MIMIC

Published January 30, 2013 by Tony

NEAPOLITANS AND GESTICULATION
THE GESTURING OF NAPOLITANS


The use of the “language with the hands” is a feature of all the Mediterranean’s people and certainly one of the most well-known holographic images of Italians abroad. But it is in Naples that communication through gestures assumes the most striking and bizarre forms, till to become art!
Gesturing became one of the main curiosity of the Neapolitan people that foreigners want to see or getting astonished to see.
By the movement of arms and hands, sometimes we can also understand, as distant observers, the subject of a discussion. Some hand gestures have been used for centuries, and have now become a common form of symbolic communication (many books have been published on this subject, and there is even a dictionary of gestures).
For us it is something innate.
There is no true Neapolitan that does not gesticulate while talking, and if  you happen to meet a Neapolitan intent in a heated phone conversation on cell phone, then I invite you to stay a couple of minutes and watch the frantic and incomprehensible dance of the free hand which moves in the air!
For us, the “gesture” is a way to express ourselves, a contribution to our speech and beautify it, because for us is important that our interlocutor understands fully what we are saying, at the cost of being redundant and pedantic.
It is not easy to understand the reason of this behavior, as it is lost in the mists of time, and to understand where it comes by, you should  know the cultural and social history of this people.
But beyond the gesture, Neapolitans are also more likely to handle, to touch and palpate. “To Touch” becomes for us a way to interact, to establish a physical contact beyond the verbal one. It also is a way to transmit our trust and affection. For those who are not accustomed to this pattern of behavior, our habit may seem too confidential as well as indelicate. For us there is no malice in “touching“, but something that comes from our well-known friendliness and helpfulness. Besides, we are kinda “material” and sceptical in things, as we need to watch and touch at the same time. For us it is normal to caress and kiss a child even if the first time we meet, give pats on the shoulder of a person we are chatting for the first time, or grab his/her body in case of need.
In private and family life, this aspect is even amplified and what made Neapolitans in world-famous for their “groping” during lovemaking. Alien women, not used at this, remain astonished as well as satisfied, and once it was well-known that many women came in Italy (like Danishes) just to taste such a foreplay whose husbands or local partners were not able to carry out.
About groping, I also must mention the significance of the Neapolitan terms “prendersi il passaggio” and “rattuso“, that have no similar terms in Italian or English language, and that are a form of unpleasant sexual approach.
The first, with the meaning of “catch the chance”  or “take the step”, happens when a guy touches (in a sexually way) a woman, usually touching her back or tits even though she had given no explicit consent or not noticing it. It also happens when a guy take the opportunity to touch, letting pass it as a casualness or coincidence.  Think, for example, a woman who is falling and with the pretext of helping her, you grab her, touching the breast; in this case we say that you took “il passaggio”.
The term “rattuso” is much more difficult to translate, perhaps deriving from “ratto = rape” even though little to do with it. This term is saddled who habitually takes advantage of certain opportunities to touch or rub his crotch against a woman’s body. Usually, are elderly men to act so, trying to do it without getting noticed by others, but their excitement does not go unnoticed by the victim. They take advantage of the fact that some victims do not complain because ashamed and timid. Think, for example, to a crowded bus where standing people are jammed, and the bus jolts conceals and justifies bodies movements and close contacts. A guy who likes to do this is “kindly” nicknamed a “rattuso”.

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