Today we passed by this lovely location. Hubby saw it first and laughed out loud as he went for the camera:
The way I heard it in my Italian neck o the woods was "fangool." The "proper" way to spell it (as if Italian should be written and not experienced! pft!) is: vafanculo/ It literally means "up your ass" tho it's generally used as an "F you."When saying it in front of the kids, it was changed to vafanapola: go to Naples! I have no idea why Naples was the choice of location. I suppose it just sounded good. Or maybe because my Grandmother's family was from just outside of Naples and she's the one I heard say it most often.
My two favorites are the ones I heard most, and both are from Sicily:
managgia (ma-NA-jah) Also heard as "managgia d'diavolo" Damn, or damn it to hell/the devil. It's hoping the person receives the mischief they just caused. You are literally damning the person or thing it's directed at.
minchia (MEEEN-kyah) Basically the Sicilian way of saying "oh shit!" tho it's more literally equivalent to "dick."
These two are my recent favorites:
cacasentenze: He shits sentences. You know someone like that: Pedantic, thinks everything they say is gold, never stops talking just because they like to hear their own voice, when what they really are is full of shit. cacasentenze!
non mi rompere le palle: Don't break my balls!
Surprisingly, about.com has an extensive list of words, categorized by letter!
There is a whole other school of Italian profanity that goes into the blasphemous category: bestemmie. It involves cussing the various Catholic deities and saints. There's a link on the holy wiki about it, but scant references, including a "comic cult" that would cuss at deity. I don't know about said "comic cult" but it wasn't uncommon, even in pre christian days, to bind a statue. For example: The statue of Saturn was bound every day of the year except on Saturnalia!
The most common spell to sell a house involved burying Saint Joseph upside down in the ground until you get what you want, then you take him out and give him a place of honor in your new home. I think it's more a Sicilian practice than a mainland one, but threatening deity, ie: withholding offerings, or using a statue, talisman or other fetish to punish or bind them, is completely valid. The practice recognizes your own spark of divinity and how we, as divine beings, can approach deity other than as sniveling supplicants. Is it the best way to do things? Who knows.... it depends on who you are and what kind of relationship you have with deity. I prefer to work together. I don't like to be threatened or have my hand forced, so I wouldn't really do that to others unless it was extremely necessary.
That's all I have for tonight. Until tomorrow... fatti i cazzi tuoi! (mind your own dick!)