Vaffanapoli - va fa Napoli

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Franklcee, Aug 17, 2005.

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  1. Franklcee New Member

    New York
    Ciao, per favore, translate a phrase in english (vulgar) F@ck You!!!! I thought in Italiano aside from (vavancu....) it was spoken, "ba, or va fanapoli" ? Please correct or explain the use da italiano. molto grazie! Frank
  2. Luc4

    Luc4 Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Well, I've never heard the expressions you mentioned. I think you are looking for something like :warn:vaffanculo:warn:, or :warn:fottiti:warn:. The ones you mentioned are maybe words taken from some king of dialect, maybe that of Napoli. Someone from there perhaps could help.
  3. phost22 Junior Member

    US - English
    I believe vaffanapoli is an euphemistic way of saying :warn:vaffanculo:warn:
  4. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I am pretty certain that Italian immigrants in the NYC area have created this word over the years as a euphemism for the more familiar expletive.
  5. BklynGiovanna Senior Member

    Brooklyn, New York
    USA English
    I asked my father this very question when i was younger. Also from NY (don't know if that has anything to do with hearing this phrase).
    My father said that "Bafanapoli" was changed over time and originally was "Vai a Napoli". He said this was said from one Sicilian to another as an insult. As if going up north was such a bad thing.
  6. V52

    V52 Senior Member

    Italy Italian
    Now It has a sense : Vaffanapoli! Said by a sicilian in old times had a sense. Sicilians used to consider neapolitans pesents and vulgar people. Sicily never accepted the neapolitan government in 19th century. Still I guess the expression was born in NY, where this rivality was certainly stronger.(Mario Puzo speaks about it in the Godfather)
    Thank you Giovanna!
  7. BklynGiovanna Senior Member

    Brooklyn, New York
    USA English
    Yes, he does speak about it. I wasn't sure if I could quote that. Thanks for explaining it much better than I ever could.
  8. Sophia_Gruenewald New Member

    English, Australia
    i was watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S the other day and heard Joey comment scathingly to his fellow friends 'fa fa napoli!' now i don't now if i spelt it rite but that's basically what it sounds like- i'm currently studying italian and wud love to know what it means:) is it an idiom? cos 'fa' may come from fare which means 'to do' among other things, and napoli = naples surely it doesnt mean 'do naples!'
  9. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Va fa means "go do," to put it generically and inoffensively, and I'd bet money that that was what you heard. Someone said something about Naples, and got the uncharitable response "Oh bother Naples!" Or something to that effect.

    I don't watch networkized movies, you know-- "edited for content?" But I think the bleepers use "forget" as the requisite "f-word" in some such expressions. "Forget you!" I'm not stuffin you, I've been told this by reputable sources.

    "That's not how we'd do it in Naples."
    "Aw forget Naples. And the horse it rode in on."
  10. Sophia_Gruenewald New Member

    English, Australia
    thanks heaps, so va fa napoli/vaffanapoli is a euphemism for vaffanculo?
  11. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    So it would seem. As for "vaffanculo," in dialetto the final "o" is not pronounced, and the "c" is voiced. Va fa'n gul' is the preferred form.
  12. agiard New Member

    English - USA
    In my upbringing as a second generneration Italian this is how I understand the idiom fa Napoli. The literal translation is "Go to Naples." My parents spoke a thick southern dialect (as did most Italian immigrants). The meaning becomes clear when you understand that to many native Italians, "Go to Naples" may as well be "Go to hell." I hope this was helpful.

  13. anthea86 New Member

    Ok, just to clear up confusion....I'm italian and I can surely say to you that "vaffanapoli" doesn't exist in Italy. We say :warn: vaffanculo:warn: (which, by the way, is pronunciated in the same way it's written), and friends prudecers decided to change it into vaffanapoli, I don't know why, maybe because sounds more italian! Anyway while I was watching friends in english I got surprised (in a negative way) hearing it, because sounds like racism (from northern people against southern people).
    I hope that this my post can be helpful for least now you know that if you come to Italy and get really angry (and I hope to not) the correct word is :warn: vaffanculo:warn: ! And that you won't hear the other word anywhere!! Kisses
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2008
  14. yankeeboy75 Banned

    My mothers side of the family is all italian ,and I used to hear a particular word sometimes when my grandmother or her sister would get mad, and I do not know the correct spelling, but maybe someone will get the hint when I would hear " fanabley" pronounced " fah- nahb- bley ... sound like something dirty or anything in general?
  15. Stevo_Evo_22 Senior Member


    What you heard is "va' fa Napoli!" and it literally means go to Napoli. However an English approximation would be "go to hell!" or something similar. I may be wrong, but some people view Napoli as not a very nice place, so this is the motive for the terminology:)
  16. stella_maris_74

    stella_maris_74 Mod About Chocolate

    Italian - Italy
    I'm sorry, but that "word" doesn't ring any bells for this native speaker, and guessing games are outside the scope of the forum.
    You should to the very least check the spelling and provide information such as: were your grandmother and his sister from a particular region of Italy?
  17. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    I agree... I can't think of anything similar to that sound in Italian.

    Maybe you can also ask your grandma how she spells that word/expression.
  18. empusa

    empusa Senior Member

    Where are your mother'relatives from?
  19. Stevo_Evo_22 Senior Member

    Ma non avete visto la mia risposta?:) Non è giusto?:D

    La mia famiglia anche usa quest'espressione-è proprio "va fa Napoli!":)
  20. furs

    furs Senior Member

    Italian - Trieste dialect
    Never heard that myself. As others have suggested, hearing from OP about his/her family's regional origin might help.
  21. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Of course we did see it, nonetheless... I've never heard it. Might be something regional. One thing is strange though: I'm from Milan but also close to Bergamo which si definitely a city where people are mostly politically agains those who live in Southern Italy (especially Rome and Naples)... and yet I've never heard such expression...

    Plus it's probably "vaffa'Napoli". ;)
  22. Stevo_Evo_22 Senior Member

    Well if it helps, my family comes from an area in the south, but not Naples exactly. If you do a quick google search, you will get many results...I am flabbergasted that you have not heard this before:)

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2009
  23. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    So am I. And the thing is, I also took a look at the thread you linked here, but... nope... never heard it.

    I don't know where it's used, IF it's used! Maybe that's an old thing.
  24. Stevo_Evo_22 Senior Member

    Well you're probably right, although there seems to be a recurring trend-the only people to have heard of it are the descendants of immigrants from the south:)
  25. Azazel81 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Hihi... my father would be considered an "immigrant" from South, here in Italy... :D OK, kidding aside...

    I'll ask my dad if he ever heard it. ;)
  26. smart_woman07

    smart_woman07 Senior Member

    Probably is a dialect expression, but for what I know I NEVER heard anything that sounds similar to what you wrote.
    Be more precise please!!!

    Sorry Stevo.. I don't agree...I am not from Napoli but I find not right to compare Napoli to the hell...this city might have lot of problems, but it's still a wonderful place!;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2009
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