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View Full Version : What's the meaning & exact spelling of the word "goomba"?


moggy
04-22-2001, 11:41 AM
I know it's Italian. When I first heard it used it was in a negative way, ie, "He's such a goomba (meaning idiot or whatever)". Then I saw a TV show where one Italian-American said to his co-worker, who was also Italian-American, "HeYYY ! Goomba!" and he used it as a greeting. I have tried looking it up in Italian & slang dictionaries but have never found it. I'm wondering if it's sometimes spelled with a C- I know some Italians pronounce "G" as "C". (My ex-sister-in-law used to pronounce "manicotti" "manigott'".
Grazie! Ciao! (No, I'm not Italian, I just took it for a couple years in college)

samclem
04-22-2001, 11:47 AM
According to JE Lighter, American Slang, it comes from the Italian compare. In American-Italian slang it means a "close or trusted male friend" and was popularized by Rocky Graziano, a boxer, who used to appear on the Martha Raye Show in the early 50's.

He quotes it from the show as early as 1955.

samclem
04-22-2001, 11:49 AM
Oh, yeah! The spelling is "goombah."

Colibri
04-22-2001, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by samclem
According to JE Lighter, American Slang, it comes from the Italian [i]compare[/i

I didn't realize that. I assume that's cognate with the Spanish compadre, literally, the godfather of your child (hence your "co-father"); colloquialy, a close pal. Often shortened, at least around here, to just "Compa'!"

exchicagoan
04-23-2001, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by samclem
According to JE Lighter, American Slang, it comes from the Italian compare. In American-Italian slang it means a "close or trusted male friend"

SAMCLEM? Does your source have anything on STUGATZ and MORRONE too? I know that I use them correctly but I never knew what they ACTUALLY meant.

Would you please check those out too. Please, huh, maybe, huh,huh?

Thx.

OneChance
04-23-2001, 03:54 AM
Goomba is also one of Mario's enemies (from Nintendo's Mario Brothers). Goomba resembles a mushroom, which is why it roams the Mushroom Kingdom.

pulykamell
04-23-2001, 05:38 AM
OneChance-- I've always wondered..."gomba" means "mushroom" in Hungarian. Hmmm...coincidence?

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