‘Jersey Shore’ Guide to Italian
Considering the fact that Snooki’s skin tone looks more Oompa Loompa than olive and Pauly D refers to a panino as a “sangwich,” many have doubted the Jersey Shore cast’s claims to their Italian heritage. But for season four, which premieres on Thursday, Snooki, Pauly D, JWoww, Vinny, The Situation, Ronnie, Sammi, and last season’s added meatball, Deena, head to Italy, where their “fresh to death” fist-pumping is rather alien to the natives.
During Jersey Shore’s first season, the world was exposed to some of the guidos’ ritual dance moves, including their second-favorite fist dance, “beating up the beat,” in which they pound on the dance floor of a nightclub in a circle of friends and slowly rise up to a full standing position. “Italian men would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, dance together and bang their fists on the floor,” one fluent speaker told The Daily Beast via email.
“I’m nervous, I’m not gonna lie,” Pauly D admitted to MTV before heading to the motherland. “I don’t know what gyms are like over there, I don’t know what tanning’s like, I don’t know the food, and the language—I don’t even speak Italian. Maybe I should get a Rosetta Stone or something.”
Whether or not the gel-hoarding DJ bought the language software remains to be heard. But Pauly D also expressed concern to MTV about hitting on “real Italian women.” Matters of the opposite sex are a bit different in Florence, where romance is held in the highest esteem. Upon hearing about “girl code” and “guy code”—the Jersey Shore cast’s rules that friendship should be put above relationships in all situations, i.e., the “chicks before dicks” or “bros before hoes” mentality—another fluent Italian speaker said, “The concept is unknown to me … Shouldn’t the rule be reversed?”
It seems Pauly D is right to be worried. “I don’t know how I’m going to talk with them,” he added to MTV. “I’m hoping the smile does the trick. The less words the better.”
So here are some—in both Jerseyan and Italian slang—to get him, the rest of the cast, and viewers started.
Get Your Guido On
blowout (Jerseyan, n.)—a hairstyle popular among Italian-American men in the tristate area that involves blowing one’s hair with a blow-dryer while brushing in an upward motion and then slathering on a copious amount of gel.
impomatato (Italian, adj.)—styled with an excessive and garish amount of pomade.
Considering how much hair gel the blowout king Pauly D brought to Jersey Shore during the first season, we imagine he’ll have an entire suitcase for his impomatato adventures in Italy.
chicken-cutlet night (Jerseyan, n.)—an evening in which a group of Italian-Americans gather together to consume breaded poultry.
When The Situation refused to clean up the feast he’d prepared for his Jersey Shore housemates, he and his briefly former flame Sammi got into a fight and he hurled one of the cruelest of insults. “I’m not touching one dish because I cooked a crazy meal,” he told her. “You know what? You are excluded from dinner, then. From now on, you are excluded from surf-’n’-turf night, you are excluded from ravioli night, you are excluded from chicken-cutlet night.”
notte di pizza (Italian, n.)—an evening in which a group of Italians gather to consume oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread, typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese, and various toppings.
Although the literal translation of “chicken-cutlet night” would be tranci di pollo di notte, there would be no chicken-cutlet night to exclude someone from in Italy. Another Italian speaker told The Daily Beast, “Italians would never dedicate a night to the chicken cutlet,” only to pizza. Apparently, the cast caught on to the pizza-over-cutlet trend—they were assigned to work at O’ Vesuvio Pizzeria in the heart of Florence’s historic center, according to the New York Post.
GTL (Jerseyan, n.)—the abbreviation for the guido way of life, which stands for gym, tanning, laundry.
PTL (Italian, n.)—the Italian translation for gym (palestra), tanning (tintarella), and laundry (lavanderia).
Not to be confused with the sacred abbreviation for “Praise the Lord.”
guido (Jerseyan, n.)—an Italian-American often seen at malls, gyms, tanning salons, and Seaside Heights. They tend to either be from or frequent New Jersey, where people do not pump their gas, they pump their fists.
tamarri (Italian, n.)—someone not wanted at Munaciello Pizzeria in Florence, Italy.
In anticipation of the Jersey Shore cast’s arrival, Munaciello Pizzeria—a rival restaurant to O’ Vesuvio’s across the Ponte Vecchio—placed a bright green sign in its window that reads: “Tamarri Americans? ‘Jersey Shore’ ... no thank you. Only real Italian pizza.”
T-shirt time (Jerseyan, n.)—the point in the evening during which a guido changes from his wife-beater tank top (a.k.a. “the shirt before the shirt”) into his (ideally Ed Hardy–esque) top for the night right before it’s time to leave to hit the club.
il momento della maglietta (Italian, n.)—the point in the evening during which a man changes his T-shirt—if, of course, he can say it.
Looks like it’s time for a new song.
Lessons From the Smush Room
creep (Jerseyan, v.)—to hit on girls.
Though some may be familiar with this term from TLC’s 1994 album CrazySexyCool, the men of Jersey Shore use it less in the sense of cheating and more in reference to picking up a lady friend while enjoying a night out on the town.
provarci (Italian, v.)—to try to get girls.
DTF (Jerseyan, adj.)—ready, willing, and able to have sex. Literally, “down to f--k.”
Example: The Situation: “So, we have two girls on the burner. We can get the original chicks, which are DTF, or we can get the blond ones.” Pauly D: “Ask them if they’re DTF, though. Don’t waste no time today. It’s Saturday.”
allupato (Italian, adj.)—having a voracious sexual appetite. Literally translates to “starved as a wolf.”
The Jersey Shore boys should just use Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like a Wolf” as their Italian theme song.
get it in (Jerseyan, v.)—to smush a partner who is not ideal for a relationship, but is DTF.
One may anatomically assume that this term is used only by the men of the Jersey Shore cast. Think again. From The Situation to Snooki to Pauly D, “getting it in” is a phrase that does not discriminate by gender.
Example: “I was nice enough to bring two. At least entertain the chick or something so I can get it in.”—Pauly D on The Situation sending home his non-DTF conquest.
farsi una sveltina (Italian, v.)—to have a quickie.
gorilla juice head (Jerseyan, n.)—an extremely muscular man who does steroids or works out to the extent that it appears he does steroids.
Example: “I see a bunch of gorilla juice heads. Tall, completely jacked, steroids, like multiple growth hormones. That’s, like, the type that I’m attracted to.”—JWoww
uno gnocco (Italian, n.)—an irresolute man, possibly a little stupid, too. Maybe it’s the ’roids or “multiple growth hormones”?
grenade (Jerseyan, n.)—a “bigger, ugly chick” who is friends with a hotter chick your friend and/or housemate is “creepin’ ” on.
During the first season of Jersey Shore, The Situation explained that love is sometimes a battlefield, and all creepers should protect themselves from grenades with trusted wingmen. “When you go into battle, you need to have some friends with you, so that just in case a grenade gets thrown at you, you know, one of your buddies takes it first,” he explained. But the metaphor continued. Later in the season, the grenade The Situation and Pauly D encountered reemerged, but this time, with a “grenade launcher,” a bigger and stronger version of the grenade—it’s a hierarchy of attractiveness.
ciospo (Italian, n.)—an extremely unattractive girl.
It is a combination of the words cesso (toilet) and rospo (toad). The Situation’s analogy doesn’t quite work, but we hope the Jersey Shore cast doesn’t have to do with any ciospo launchers.
kookah (Jerseyan, n.) or nana (Jerseyan, n.)—a euphemism for female genitalia.
This Snooki-coined colloquialism for a female’s nether regions was introduced after Pauly D attempted to wake up the smallest cast member in time for her manicure appointment and accidentally (or so he claims) exposed her kookah. Later, she and JWoww lamented over intimate injuries.
Example: “I ran into a house. I was like, ‘Boom.’ I was like, ‘My kookah!’ I thought I broke my vagina bone. It’s terrible.”—Snooki
figa (Italian, n.)—a euphemism for female genitalia.
Luckily for Snooki, “‘Boom.’ I was like, ‘My figa!’” sounds just as dramatic.
pound (Jerseyan, v.)—to have aggressive sexual intercourse.
For many Italian-Americans, the conventional definition of pound does apply when purchasing necessary culinary ingredients, i.e. “calamad,” (a.k.a. calamari) “muzzarel” (a.k.a. mozzarella), or “projute” (a.k.a. prosciutto). The word has also taken on a wide range of meanings—whether it’s tossing back your fifth shot of Southern Comfort (a.k.a. SoCo), referencing a modern-day handshake in which two people knock fists, or, for those who want to shake more than hands after many a beverage, it can denote aggressive sex, preferably in the Jacuzzi.
Example: “I wanna pound out every girl in Seaside.”—Vinny
trombare (Italian, v.)—to have no-strings-attached sexual intercourse. Though this term literally means “playing the trumpet,” colloquially it refers to uncomplicated sex. Apparently, playing the trumpet is considered an easy task for Italians.
situation (Jerseyan, n.)—a defined six-pack. Or (n.) the name of a man with a defined six-pack.
Enter Mike Sorrentino …
fracicone (Italian, n.)—a man who believes he is invincible because of his body.
A.k.a. … “The Fracicone!”
smush (Jerseyan, v.)—to have sex with, ideally involving a guido and a guidette.
scopare (Italian, v.)—to have sex with.
stage-five clinger (Jerseyan, n.)—a member of the opposite sex who becomes excessively attached incredibly early on in the relationship.
appiccicoso/a (Italian, n.)—someone who becomes too attached romantically. Literally, “sticky.”
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
do you (Jerseyan, v.)—to take care of one’s own business and not integrate him- or herself into the business of others.
During many a fight between Sammi and Ronnie, the idea of “doing” themselves seems to come up a lot—and no, it doesn’t mean what you think.
Example: “Do you, bro.” —Sammi to Ronnie
fatti cazzi tuoi (Italian, v.)—to mind one’s own business.
The old Italian proverb “Fatti i cazzi tuoi, ca campi cent’anni” (“Mind your own business and you’ll live 100 years”) would indicate that Sammi and Ronnie, who do not actually follow through with “fatti cazzi tuoi,” are running out of time.
done (Jerseyan, adj.)—the state of a relationship when one or both parties verbally claim to cease attempts to work out any outstanding issues between the partners.
Simple as this term may seem, in the case of Sammi and Ronnie, “done” never means “done.” The only thing Sammi says more than “Ron, stop” is “I’m done.”
Example: “No, we’re like done.”—Sammi
storia finita (Italian, n.)— a finished story.
Though they split up after season three, photos and rumors surfaced indicating that Ronnie and Sammi rekindled their romance in Italy. Their story is not quite finita yet.