Ah’m a real wife, not no dress and breath.

rya00

Member
italy, italian
Hi everyone,
I found the expression "not no dress and breath" in a short story written by an American writer and I think It could be a typical expression of the African-American community...What does it mean? It is said by a wife speaking about herself, I think It means that she is faithful and serious...do you know of an Italian expression that could translate this directly?

Thank you all!!
 
  • SpookyT

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi! :)

    My try.

    We often say "una ragazza casa e chiesa" to mean a girl is very serious and careful not to trip or make scandal. However, we tend to use it more often referring to girls (she does her homework, helps her parents out, is always kind and honest) than to married women.

    Maybe something like "angelo del focolare"? Although it doesn't convey the exact same meaning...

    Edit: I looked the text up. Not that it helps with the translation, but as far as interpretation is concerned, she seems proud to be a "real wife", so maybe she means she's not one to strip, moan and flirt to please her man. Just a try.
     
    Last edited:

    Bookmom

    Senior Member
    Missie May in Zora Neale Hurston's The Six Bits, is saying that she's not just some "dress and breath", a body, breathing, occupying a dress. She's far more than that and she tells her husband, Joe, that. It's that old haunting theme of betrayal and redemption, but Zora tells it so well.
     

    rya00

    Member
    italy, italian
    Here is the whole sentence: "“Don’t you mess wid mah business, man . . . Ah’m a real wife, not no dress and breath. Ah might not look lak one, but if you burn me, you won’t git a thing but wife ashes.”

    She is speaking about herself saying that she isn't like other women ppretending to be pure and all but doing bad things when nobody sees them...I don't know, I hope this helps!! Thank you very much for your suggestions until now!
     

    Bookmom

    Senior Member
    In terms of a translation, something very colloquial, natives will be able to come up with this fairly quickly, this is a probubly a very bad example, but something like, non sono una bambola in scatola.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top