Southern Italian: shundalatta / scendiletto

Pico70

New Member
English - United States
Ciao tutti,

When I was a kid and would come home all disheveled from playing outside, my grandmother would often say, "...tu guarda come una shundalatta!"
I've never been unable to find a word close to "shundalatta" which I'm trying to spell phonetically and think must be dialect. Years later, I was told that the word means ragamuffin.

Is anyone familiar with this word or have any ideas about its meaning?

Grazie!
 
  • Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Ciao, Pico70. Where did your grandmother come from? Was she a native speaker or did she grew up in the US?
     
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    Pico70

    New Member
    English - United States
    Ciao Nino83, My grandmother came from Pico, a village in southern Lazio located in the province of Frosinone. She was a native speaker and emigrated to the US with my grandfather (also from Pico) around 1920. For most of their early years in the US, they lived in a neighborhood with other people from Italy who were from their own region as well as people from Abruzzo, Calabria, Sicily, and Campania...so the word could be from a dialect other than her own????
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you for the info, Pico70.
    I speak both Italian and Sicilian but I don't know any word resembling the one you're looking for.
    Let's wait for a native speaker of other Southern Italian languages.
     

    Rani_Author

    Senior Member
    Indonesia - Indonesian
    Caro @Pugnator & caro @Sardokan1.0, mi dispiace per disturbare. Ma, potreste rispondere alla domanda di Pico70. :D Anch'io sono molto curiosa. :D Questa domanda è molto interessante. :cool:

    I'm just trying to connect you with the other Southern Italians, Pico70. The Neapolitan and Sardinian. Maybe one of them could help you. :)

    Ciao, carissimo Nino! :rolleyes:
     

    Pico70

    New Member
    English - United States
    Mille grazie, Rani_Author! The word was always used in the context of someone looking all disheveled. When my grandmother would say the word, it would sound like a "tt" or a "dd" at the end...if that helps :)
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I've found this proverb from Catanzaro, where the verb "sciundà" could mean "sciogliere" (untie, loosen, dissolve), but I can't understand the meaning of your sentence. Maybe Pugnator can interpret it better.
    • U mundu è cchinu 'e 'mbrogghi nu si ti liga, nu si ti sciunda.
    Il mondo è pieno di imbrogli un si ti lega, un si ti scioglie.
    Proverbi catanzaresi - Wikiquote

    Ciao Rani! :)
     

    Pico70

    New Member
    English - United States
    Ciao Sardokan1.0, Thank you for your reply!

    Ciao Nino83, Very interesting find! Thank you! Maybe this is the answer???
     

    aefrizzo

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Ciao, ragazzi. In my neck of woods once upon a time, low-income people used, as a bedside rug, a rag rug or even an essiccated goat skin. The Italian term is scendiletto, but thanks to schwa and centralized wovels, you might have recognized the consonants only.
    For what it is worth, taking into account the English spelling of Pico and the dialectal-informal prononciation of his granny, this is the most similar word I have ever heard. Its meaning is not far from ragamuffin.:D
     

    Pico70

    New Member
    English - United States
    Ciao aefrizzo, Thank you so much for your response...I believe that you have solved my mystery. Scendiletto is very close to the word that I recalled my grandmother using to describe my disheveled appearance...just like a rag rug...I laughed out loud when I read your description :) Thank you for bringing joy to my day!
     
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