100 Italian American Slang Words

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Foodie, Animal Lover, Slang & Language Enthusiast

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When Italians immigrated to the United States en masse in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, they kept speaking Italian on American soil. As time went on and new generations of Italian-Americans were born, their traditional language gradually changed.

Whenever this happens, it’s called pidgin. Pidgin is a simplified or evolving version of another language, and it’s classic for this to happen as a result of immigration. Italian Americans are famous for their own version of pidgin, which we’ll be taking a look at in this post.

In this list of Italian American slang words, we’ll show you some of the most popular Italian American pidgin terms and what they mean.

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Italian American Slang Words (in Alphabetical Order)

Aduzipazz

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Pronounced like ah-doo-zee-pots, this is a phrase you might shout at someone when you think they’re crazy or behaving strangely.
  • Example: “Why would you make your pasta like that? Aduzipazz!”
Aduzipazz


Afanabola

Meaning:

  • (Expression): If you hear an Italian American say this to you, you should be offended because it means they’re telling you to go to hell.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “I ate all of your leftover pizza. Sorry, bro.”
  • Person 2: “How could you do that to me? Afanabola!”
Afanabola

Agita

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This popular Italian American slang/pidgin term means heartburn.
  • Example: “That pizza gave me agita.”
Agita

Ammonini

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When you say this, you’re saying you’re ready to go. It means you want to get going.
  • Example: “Ammonini! We have to get to the store before it closes.”
Ammonini

Andosh

Meaning:

  • (Expression): See Ammonini.

Assai

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): This is a word you use to describe when there is a lot of something.
  • Example: “She bought assai pasta at the supermarket, and it was all the wrong kind.”
Assai

Aunda

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): When you say this word, you’re asking a question: “where?” or “where is it?”
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Okay, meet me there after work.”
  • Person 2: “Aunda?”
Aunda

Bada Bing

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is probably one of the most stereotypical Italian American slang words. You’ve probably heard it in various tv shows or movies, but it was made especially popular by The Godfather. It’s an excited exclamation, kind of like saying “bam.”
  • Example: “All you need to do is throw these ingredients together in a pot, then bada bing! You’ve got my famous soup recipe.”

Read Also: New York Slang Words

bada bing

Bash

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): A simple phrase that means downstairs.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Where do you keep your food?”
  • Person 2: “It’s all bash. Come on, I’ll show you.”
Bash

Basta

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): When someone says this, they are telling you, “enough!” It’s like asking someone to stop.
  • Example: “Basta! Stop talking about that gross stuff while we’re eating.”
Basta

Bisgott’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This is Italian-American slang for biscotti, a type of crispy cookie.
  • Example: “There ain’t nothing like coffee and bisgott’ to start off the day with.”
Bisgott’

Boombots

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A nickname you apply to someone who’s unintelligent or a moron.
  • Example: “Luciano Boombots over here forgot to lock the front door when he left, and we got robbed.”
Boombots

Boxugeddu

Meaning:

  • (Noun): To understand this one, you only need to look at the first three letters. It’s pronounced like box-oo-jed-oo, and it just means box.
  • Example: “Can you grab that boxugeddu over there and hand it to me?”
Boxugeddu

Buttan’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This is kind of a graphic and offensive word. Usually used to refer to a woman, it means something along the lines of skank or ho.
  • Example: “She got incredibly angry when Vinnie called her a buttan.’”
Buttan’

Calabres’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American slang term for Calabrian, which can refer to Calabrian things or people.
  • Example: “It’s not enough for him to say he’s Italian. He always has to say he’s Calabres.’”

Calamad

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A nickname for fried squid, which is also known as calamari.
  • Example: “She ordered a plate of calamari as an appetizer.”
Calamad

Calamari

Meaning:

  • (Noun): See Calamad.

Capeesh

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is another famous Italian-American slang term that you’ve likely heard before. When you say this, you’re asking someone if they understand something.
  • Example: “I need you to lock the front door when you leave, Luciano. Capeesh?”
Capeesh

Cazzo

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An offensive and graphic slang term that means testicles.
  • Example: “Luciano got kicked in his cazzo for forgetting to lock the door.”
Cazzo

Cendann’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A century.
  • Example: “My family immigrated to America a cendann’ ago.”
Cendann’

Chefai?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Italian-American slang phrase that means, “what are you doing?”
  • Example: “Hey, man! Chefai?”
Chefai

Chepreca!

Meaning:

  • (Expression): If you say this, you’re saying that something is awful. It’s like exclaiming, “what a pity!”
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Our house was robbed the other night.”
  • Person 2: “Chepreca! What are you going to do?”
Chepreca!

Chooch

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An Italian-American insult that you can use to call someone a jerk or an ass.
  • Example: “You chooch! Don’t you dare talk about my ma like that!”
Chooch

Chunka

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): When someone has been hurt or injured by something.
  • Example: “My cousin is chunka after he slammed his foot in the door.”
Chunka

Cornuto

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An offensive phrase. This refers to a man who has been cheated on by his wife.
  • Example: “That woman has been sleeping around behind her cornuto’s back for years.”
Cornuto

Disgraziat’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another Italian-American insult. This one is like calling someone scum or a dirtbag.
  • Example: “Take a shower, disgraziat.’ You stink.”
Disgraziat’

Dzapp’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A hoe used for gardening.
  • Example: “My grandma uses a dzapp’ for her vegetable garden.”
Dzapp’

Faccia di Katzo

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Italian Americans have a lot of slang words for calling someone ugly. This one literally means “testicle face.” You might call a man this if he’s quite unattractive.
  • Example: “I would never date that faccia di katzo. I have higher standards than that.”
Faccia di Katzo

Facciabrutt’

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Here’s another one you can use to call someone ugly. In fact, this colorful phrase just means “ugly face!”
  • Example: “Stop making that gross expression, facciabrutt’!”
Facciabrutt’

Facciu Fridda

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Is it particularly cold outside? You may want to use this phrase, then, since it just means, “it’s cold.”
  • Example: “Facciu fridda! Wear a jacket.”

Fatti Gatti Due

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A rude phrase that tells someone to leave you alone or mind their own business.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “So, have you found a man yet?”
  • Person 2: “Fatti gatti due! I don’t ask you such personal questions.”
Fatti Gatti Due

Forget About It

Meaning:

  • (Expression): An extremely famous slang phrase that’s popular in New York. It can be very versatile and mean different things based on your tone of voice. It can mean no or that something is unbelievable, for example.
  • Example: “My ma’s homemade pasta? Forget about it – it’s out of this world.”

Related Article: New York Slang Forget About It Meaning

Forget About It

Fraggiol

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A slang word that refers to beans.
  • Example: “My grandmother always said to live a long life, you need to eat fraggiol every day.”
Fraggiol

Fratu

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Pidgin word for brother. You can use it to refer to a biological brother or close friend.
  • Example: “Fratu, come over for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.”
Fratu

Frittat’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American slang term for frittata, a dish made from fried eggs.
  • Example: “He eats fritatt’ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
Frittat’

Fugazi

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that is inauthentic, fake.
  • Example: “She loves showing off her Tiffany jewelry, but anyone with eyes can see it’s fugazi.”
Fugazi

Fuidi Dogu

Meaning:

  • (Expression): If you’re being mischievous and climbing around on something you’re not supposed to, your parents might yell this at you. It means you need to come down from somewhere or get off something.
  • Example: “Fuidi dogu! You’ll break your neck if you fall from there.”
Fuidi Dogu

Gaguzz’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This word has a ton of meanings. It can mean money, or it can be an insulting term akin to moron. It all depends on the context.
  • Example: “He went to the sale with his pockets stuffed full of gaguzz.’”
Gaguzz’

Gandin’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The basement level of a home.
  • Example: “My grandmother stores all of her unused furniture in the gandin.’”
Gandin’

Ganol’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Slang term for cannoli, an Italian dessert consisting of a shell-shaped pastry filled with sweetened ricotta cheese.
  • Example: “I make the best ganol’ on the block, guaranteed.”
Ganol’

Gavadeel’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A specific type of Italian pasta.
  • Example: “Get the water boiling. We’re having gavadeel’ for dinner tonight.”
Gavadeel’

Gavone

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who eats too much.
  • Example: “Slow down, gavone, or you’ll bust your waistband.”
Gavone

Gettuzang

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Working extremely hard.
  • Example: “If you gettuzang, you might just make it.”
Gettuzang

Ghistu

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American slang that means “this” in reference to something nearby.
  • Example: “Ghistu gavone won’t stop stuffing his face.”
Ghistu

Giambott’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A delicious Italian stew.
  • Example: “Sit down – we’re about to have giambott’ for dinner.”
Giambott’

Gibude

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An onion.
  • Example: “Maria picked up a gibude at the grocery store.”
Gibude

Gidrul’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who’s an idiot.
  • Example: “Stop talking, gidrul’, or you’ll get us in trouble.”
Gidrul’

Goomba

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A fellow Italian person. It’s kind of like saying guy.
  • Example: “A real goomba knows what good pasta is like.”
Goomba

Guyasabbu?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A verbal shrug. It’s like asking, “who knows?”
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Did they ever figure out who robbed their house?”
  • Person 2: “Guyasabbu? Maybe it’ll always be a mystery.”
Guyasabbu

Haicapid

Meaning:

  • (Expression): See Capeesh.

How Ya Doin’?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Popular Italian-American greeting. It’s just like asking, “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?”
  • Example: “Hey, goomba! How ya doin’? Long time, no talk.”
How Ya Doin’

‘Iamo

Meaning:

  • (Expression): See Ammonini.

I Malano Miau

Meaning:

  • (Expression): An expression of disbelief, like yelling, “no way!”
  • Example: “I just won the lottery – i malano miau!”
I Malano Miau

Keh Sa Deech?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Simple, casual way to ask someone how they’re doing.
  • Example: “It’s been a long time since I saw you last. Keh sa deech?”
Keh Sa Deech

Lascialui

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): It’s a demand to let someone be or leave them alone. It’s pronounced like lah-shah-loo-lee.
  • Example: “Lascialui! Your brother has had enough.”
Lascialui

Ma Che Bell’

Meaning:

  • (Expression): An exclamation that you can say when you see something pretty. It’s saying, “how beautiful!”
  • Example: “Ma che bell,’ you did such a good job decorating here.”
Ma Che Bell’

You May Also Like: New York Slang Words for Beautiful

Ma Che Cozz’u Fai

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You say this when you’re confused about what someone is doing. It’s just a way of asking them what’s going on.
  • Example: “Ma che cozz’u fai? Why are you touching my hair?”
Ma Che Cozz’u Fai

Mamaluke

Meaning:

  • (Noun): See Gidrul.’

Mangia Tutti Mangia

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A traditional Italian parent might say this when they sit down for a meal with their children. This signals that everyone can start eating.
  • Example: “The children always wait for their father to say, ‘mangia tutti mangia’ before they even touch their food.”
Mangia Tutti Mangia

Manigot

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American way of saying manicotti, another type of pasta.
  • Example: “Bella made a tasty manigot for us to have later.”
Manigot

Maron’

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): This one is kind of like saying, “damn.” You can use it as a curse word, as a surprised exclamation, or when you’re impressed by something.
  • Example: “Maron’, check out that handsome man over there.”
Maron’

Maronna Mia

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): The Italian-American equivalent of saying, “oh my god.” The meaning depends on your tone and the context. It can be excited, upset, or happy.
  • Example: “Maronna mia, look at all this cash!”
Maronna Mia

Medigan’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An Italian-American who’s no longer connected to their Italian heritage or someone who isn’t Italian at all.
  • Example: “Listen, medigan’, you don’t know anything about cooking pasta.”
Medigan’

Mi Fa Cagare

Meaning:

  • (Expression): An Italian-American expression that you can use to show that you’re disgusted with something.
  • Example: “Mi fa cagare, your bedroom is filthy.
Mi Fa Cagare

Mortadafam’

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): To be extremely hungry.
  • Example: “Where can we get some good eats? I’m mortadafam.’”
Mortadafam’

Mortadell’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American slang for mortadella, a type of Italian sausage. You can also use it as an insult.
  • Example: “You haven’t even lived until you’ve had my mortadell.’”
Mortadell’

Murudda

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): An insult for someone who’s brainless.
  • Example: “He’s murudda, so take everything he says with a grain of salt.”
Murudda

Musciad

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that is too soft. It’s usually used in reference to pasta noodles.
  • Example: “Send your pasta back. It’s musciad.”
Musciad

Muzzadell

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American slang for mozzarella cheese.
  • Example: “Vincent only uses the finest muzzadell on his pizzas.”
Muzzadell

Niente

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A word that means literally “nothing.” Zip. Zero. Zilch.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Do you have any questions or concerns?”
  • Person 2: “Niente. Let’s go.”
Niente

Oobatz

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An insulting word for someone you feel is insane.
  • Example: “She’s oobtaz, fratu. Leave her be.”
Oobatz

Paesan’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A friendly way of referring to another Italian.
  • Example: “How’s it going, paesan’?”
Paesan’

Panzagin’

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You say this when you’re finished eating because you’ve had enough.
  • Example: “Thanks, grandma, but panzagin.’ I couldn’t have any more without being a gavone.”
Panzagin’

Pasta fazool

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another way of pronouncing pasta y fagioli, a traditional Italian soup made with pasta and beans.
  • Example: “Would you like to start the meal off with some pasta fazool?”
Pasta fazool

Provalon’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Italian-American way of saying provolone cheese.
  • Example: “I’ll never say no to a good provalon.’”
Provalon’

Prujoot/Prozhoot/Proshoot

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Slang way of saying prosciutto, a type of ham.
  • Example: “Pick me up some good proshoot for later.”
Prujoot_Prozhoot_Proshoot

Puttana A Diavolo

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A woman with a bad reputation, usually implying that she’s promiscuous or has loose morals.
  • Example: “I can’t believe my husband would cheat on me with that puttana a diavolo!”
Puttana A Diavolo

Regoat

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Accented way of referencing ricotta cheese.
  • Example: “She stuffs her homemade ravioli with regoat.”
Regoat

Salud

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Wishing someone good health.
  • Example: “Salud, fratu.”
Salud

Sameech

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Sandwich with an Italian-American accent.
  • Example: “She packed a sameech with prujoot for lunch.”
Sameech

Scooch

Meaning:

  • (Noun): If someone calls you a scooch, it’s because you’re being a pain in the butt to deal with. Use this one to describe someone or something that’s a hassle.
  • Example: “Stop being a scooch and shut up.”
Scooch

Scubata

Meaning:

  • (Verb): To have intercourse with someone.
  • Example: “What are you doing chatting up all the women in this bar? Trying to scubata?”
Scubata

Scustumad

Meaning:

  • (Noun): See Gidrul’.

Scuzi, Mia Dispiachay

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You say this one to apologize. It indicates you didn’t mean whatever it is you did wrong.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Ow! You stepped on my toe!”
  • Person 2: “Scuzi, mia dispiachay. I have two left feet.”

Sfogliata

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Pronounced like sh-fee-ah-dell. It’s a type of Italian pastry with powdered sugar on top.
  • Exampel: “Would you like some homemade sfogliata for dessert?”
Sfogliata

Sigilian’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A Sicilian.
  • Example: “He doesn’t like when you call him an Italian. He’s a Sigilian.’”
Sigilian’

Sorda

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The female equivalent of fratu. In other words, a sister.
  • Example: “This here is my sorda. Isn’t she beautiful?”
sorda

Stronzo

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who’s a jerk. The female equivalent of this one is stronza.
  • Example: “That stronzo cut me off in the passing lane!”
Stronzo

Struppiau

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): When someone isn’t just stupid – they’re very stupid.
  • Example: “Don’t listen to her, she’s struppiau.”
Struppiau

Stupido

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): See Struppiau.

Stugots

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A dismissive phrase. You might say it when you’re giving up, giving in, or cursing something.
  • Example: “Stugots, I’ll do it.”
Stugots

Stunad

Meaning:

  • (Noun): See Gidrul’.

Te Fugo

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A frustrated curse phrase. It’s the equivalent of saying, “f*ck you!” to someone.
  • Example: “Te fugo – stop insulting my girlfriend.”
Te Fugo

Un Ada Oda

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You say this one when you’ll do something later or don’t have time for something now.
  • Example:
  • Person 1: “Want to go grab some dinner with me?”
  • Person 2: “I can’t – it’s my anniversary, so I’m going out with my wife.”
  • Person 1: “Un ada oda, then.”
Un Ada Oda

Vachiuma Clina

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Accented way of saying “vacuum cleaner.” This one is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Example: “Bring me the vachiuma clina, so I can tidy up the hall.”
Vachiuma Clina

Vaffanculo

Meaning:

  • (Expression): See Te Fugo.

Vaschinga Machina

Meaning:

  • (Noun): You might be able to guess this one if you say it out loud to yourself. It means washing machine.
  • Example: “Remember to clean your vaschinga machina at least once a month!”
Vaschinga Machina

Warda

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Given how water is one of the most famous NY accent words, you could be forgiven for guessing that this one is water. It actually comes from the word “guarda,” though, and it’s a warning to watch out or pay attention.
  • Example: “Warda – there’s a sharp turn coming up.”

Wazza Mara You?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is another one that you might be able to guess if you just say it out loud. It’s the famous accented way of saying, “what’s the matter with you?” You usually say it when someone is behaving strangely.
  • Example: “Stop hitting your head on the wall! Wazza mara you?”
Wazza Mara You

Whadayagunnado?

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You can probably guess what this saying means. It’s just a quick and accented way of asking, “what are you going to do?” It’s kind of like a verbal shrug. You might say this when a situation is out of your control.
  • Example: “The traffic is terrible today, but whadayagunnado?”
Whadayagunnado

Wrap Up

Italian-American slang is extremely interesting. The list we provided here is fairly in-depth, but there’s likely a lot that we weren’t able to cover because it’s essentially another language.

Italians aren’t the only people in the US who have their own language, however. If you want to see another interesting example, check out our guide to Hawaii slang and pidgin phrases.

What Does Wrap Up Mean?
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