capo di minghe

English translation: dickhead

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:capo di minghe
English translation:dickhead
Entered by: Alexander Taguiltsev

10:23 Nov 26, 2005
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Slang
Italian term or phrase: capo di minghe
"Besides which," Cesare put in, "she's so big."
The Gaucho clenched one fist. "How big."
"175 by 279 centimeters," admitted Signor Mantissa.
"Capo di minghe!" the Gaucho sat back, shaking his head. With an obvious effort at controlling his temper, he addressed Signor Mantissa. "I'm not a small man,"...

This is from Thomas Pynchon's "V" - chapter seven ("She hangs on the western wall"), towards the end of section II (a couple of pages before its end in my 1963 Viking UK paperback edition)

To my Italian ear, this sounds like a "pynchonesque" deformation of the semi-dialectal Italian insult / swear word "Testa di minchia" - an opinion reinforced by the Florentine setting of the scene and by the association of the Gaucho with Argentine (Borges must have said something to the effect that an Argentinian is an Italian who speaks Spanish and dreams himself an Englishman... IIRC).

I'm not quite sure this is the right language or language combination for the question, but I'd like to have opinions from native English speakers, and especially from Americans with some Italian, or Spanish; but everybody is welcome to contribute...

This is not for paid work on Pynchon's novel, unfortunately, in case someone was wondering - just a personal curiosity
Alfredo Tutino
Local time: 14:58
dickhead
Explanation:
http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:ZqsGjU-kHhwJ:www.hyperar...

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Note added at 53 mins (2005-11-26 11:17:38 GMT)
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Italian (southern): "dick" (i.e., "penis"); also used as a general profane exclamation, similar to how "shit" is used; "Capo di minghe!" ("dickhead!"), 164; "Minghe" 166;
Selected response from:

Alexander Taguiltsev
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:58
Grading comment
Thank you for the site!
I still wonder somehow, not about the sense, but about the way Pybnchon might have picked up (at least) some Italian, because: 1) minghe is not a common pronunciation for "minchia" in any southern or northern Italian dialect that I know of; 2) "Capo" for "head" is rather learned usage
I was dimly hoping for input from Americans of Italian origin, I guess (this is why I originally posted this in EN>EN). But none of this makes your contribution any less welcome, of course.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +4dickhead
Alexander Taguiltsev


  

Answers


51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
dickhead


Explanation:
http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:ZqsGjU-kHhwJ:www.hyperar...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 53 mins (2005-11-26 11:17:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Italian (southern): "dick" (i.e., "penis"); also used as a general profane exclamation, similar to how "shit" is used; "Capo di minghe!" ("dickhead!"), 164; "Minghe" 166;

Alexander Taguiltsev
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:58
Native speaker of: Russian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you for the site!
I still wonder somehow, not about the sense, but about the way Pybnchon might have picked up (at least) some Italian, because: 1) minghe is not a common pronunciation for "minchia" in any southern or northern Italian dialect that I know of; 2) "Capo" for "head" is rather learned usage
I was dimly hoping for input from Americans of Italian origin, I guess (this is why I originally posted this in EN>EN). But none of this makes your contribution any less welcome, of course.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Franco Rigoni
18 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  Dave Calderhead: Sounds about right!
27 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  John Walsh
8 hrs
  -> THank you

agree  Romanian Translator (X)
1 day 13 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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