col cappello alla diotifulmini

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Belphegor82, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Belphegor82

    Belphegor82 New Member

    Hi, all! Anyone knows how to translate this in English? "col cappello alla diotifulmini." I've seen this expression a few times, and I know what it means (something like "askew"); I saw it translated in French as "avec le chapeau de traviole", which is a great translation, and I was looking for something in English that was as idiomatic and colloquial as this. Does anyone has something?
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    We need at least some context and a full sentence, thanks
  3. Belphegor82

    Belphegor82 New Member

    Here's the sentence:

    Chi sa se c'è ancora?" si domandava l'omaccio. Poi vide che c'era ancora, e ancora più grande e grosso d'allora e sempre col sottanone nero sbottonato sulla pancia, sempre col cappello alla diotifulmini, sempre col mezzo toscano fra le labbra.

    The narrator is describing a man returning to his village after years of absence and wondering if don Camillo is still there (and there he is). The expression pops up in another story:

    In un primo tempo, don Camillo non l'aveva riconosciuto: egli aveva lasciato un Peppone senatoriale, con lobbia, cravatta di seta grigia, camicia chiara dì fine popeline e maestoso doppiopetto blu, e ora si ritrovava davanti il Peppone paesano dei tempi passati con le brache spiegazzate, la giacchetta di fustagno, il cappello alla diotifulmini, il fazzoletto al collo e il tabarro sulle spalle.

    Come ho detto, so più o meno cosa vuol dire, ma cerco di tradurre in inglese :)
  4. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "... (with) his hat not on straight"?
  5. ohbice

    ohbice Senior Member

    Forse "alla diotifulmini" (oltre alla posizione in cui il cappello è messo) sta per "in modo strafottente", "in modo spavaldo". MIa opinione :)
  6. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    I'm trying to get a sense of what this expression implies about the hat-wearer: "his hat on askew / crookedly" would be fairly neutral, with a suggestion that the wearer is unaware his hat's on wrong; "his hat crammed on any old how" could work if the idea is that he's kind of slovenly and doesn't care whether his hat's straight or not. I would assume that a hat worn "in modo strafottente" is on "at a jaunty angle," but that doesn't seem to be the idea in at least the second passage.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  7. london calling Senior Member

    I thought the same..:) Therefore I suggest 'defiant '.
  8. johngiovanni

    johngiovanni Senior Member

    ..."with his hat skew-whiff". ("skee-whift" or "skew-whift" in my Potteries dialect).
  9. Belphegor82

    Belphegor82 New Member

    I think it's a mixture of both, but I like "any old how" - it's got the idiomatic quality I was looking for. Grazie a tutti! :)
  10. london calling Senior Member

    I'm not at all sure that 'any old how' or 'askew' are sufficient. I still think you need to get the idea of 'strafottente' across.

  11. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    I've been trying to think of how you could do this in English. His hat on at a defiant angle? His hat pulled defiantly down over his brows? Perched defiantly on his head? This thread is the first time I've encountered "alla diotifulmini" (it even took me a while to figure out it was "Dio ti fulmini":)) and so while I'm happy to defer to you and ohbice on the "strafottente" aspect of it all, I still can't get a mental picture of this hat!:D
  12. london calling Senior Member

    His hat set at a defiant angle?

    The mental picture I'm getting is something like this. This isn't a hat which has been put on 'any old how', though.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018

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