nuances

danalto

Senior Member
Italy - Italian
That's what I'd like to catch (or get?) in the following lines, from a Cold Case episode (justo for a change...)

VERA
So who was the white girl?
OLD DANDRIDGE
Some dame on the arm of this wise-guy…Eddie Mason. Heard Eddie call her "Legs."

dame - is it derogatory, here?
on the arm - mantenuta?
wise-guy - mafioso? (Even if the WR dictionary says sapientone)
malavitoso is maybe the right one.

 
  • Feppisher

    Senior Member
    Inglese, US
    "Dame" is what fictional "tough guys" call, or once used to call, all women except the very old and very young. Not exactly derogatory as 'bitch' or 'ho' ' (whore) would be, but still impolite.

    Even good guys, like P.I. Sam Spade would use this hard-boiled word for women.

    A more modern version seems to be 'broad." I myself have never used either nor has my brother or any of my friends or any of his friends, as far as I know.
    -------
    'On the arm of' means she is holding his upper arm just above the elbow, his arm being slightly bent, usually.
    ------------------------------
    "Wise guy" is an ironic usage, usually means a mobster, often a mafioso, or a suspected or manque mafioso.
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    on the arm = out together
    dame - the jargon of that time, coupled with the fact that he's a wiseguy and she's on his arm - she's just eye candy, not a woman of stature or even a wife.
    wiseguy = mobbed up
     

    nickditoro

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    danalto said:
    That's what I'd like to catch (or get?) in the following lines, from a Cold Case episode (justo for a change...)

    VERA
    So who was the white girl?
    OLD DANDRIDGE
    Some dame on the arm of this wise-guy…Eddie Mason. Heard Eddie call her "Legs."

    dame - is it derogatory, here?
    on the arm - mantenuta?
    wise-guy - mafioso? (Even if the WR dictionary says sapientone)
    malavitoso is maybe the right one.

    Since a wise-guy in the U.S. is a mafioso, dame wouldn't be necessarily derogatory, given the social context. As for "on the arm," I see in Paravia that "mantenuta" is a "kept woman." Here "on the arm" simply means that she is with Eddie (probably clinging to his arm) -- at least for the evening. The usual term for a wise-guy's woman is "moll," although in "The Sopranos" a mistress is referred to as a "comare."

    Nick
     
    Top