Great Milan and Lady Mondegreen

Continuing the discussion from FIFA World Cup Russia 2018:

Great Milan!!! You are right. Everything sounds as italian dirty words.
Even “great Milan”, now that I think of it, sounds a bit like “grattami l’ano”…

This isn’t the first time you roll your eyes noticing that WE have this particular tendency to hear italian dirty words in stranger sentences. What does this mean?

  1. The excessive pasta consumption can cause thickening of the earwax, thus impairing hearing
  2. Italians are known for their dirty mind, so they’re prone to pareidolia.

I don’t know the reason, but this phenomenon is actually particularly frequent among italians.
Let me tell you something funny. My grandmother taught me, as a little child, some “latin” prayers.
When I started studying latin, when I was 11, I realized most of the words of the prayers I learned where twisted into inexistent words, many of them being similar to actual italian or milanese words.

I remember one evening years later, chatting with friends, we discussed about the different versions of the “Requiem” as reported by the different grandmothers, and the result was really hilarious.

Anyway, what’s the purpose of this topic?

I suggest that everybody tries to think about a word or a sentence which makes some sense in a language, but it has a whole different meaning in another. I will start with a famous french sentence (at least, it is famous in all northern Italy).


“Les calculs de la grand-mère d’Ada” --> English meaning: “The gallstones* of Ada’s grandmother”

Well, it happens that this innocent french sentence is a perfect homophony of another sentence in milanese dialect:

“Leca el cul de la gran merdada” --> English meaning: “lick the big shit off the ass

Does anybody else has some example?


“calculs” also means “calculations”, but I have always thought, hearing this sentence, about gallstones.

Nice Zak-bonus: the Wikipedia article for that word features the face on Mars!


No sorry…

Although in some music I can hear different things.

Like in this early AC/DC’s song…

Can I sit next to… Hugo? That’s kind of against the whole idea, Bon!

That’s really interesting. As for me, I’m more prone to strict pareidolia, thus regarding images (εἴδωλα - eidola), not sounds. From my first experiences in childhood (faces in clouds, words written or faces shown in marble) later I understood it was a thing, but never searched for it. Also, in an interesting parallelism with the Rorschach test cited in these forum these days, pareidolia, consisting in a subjective view of a non-clear image (though possibly resembling some things) can open a way to understand the contents of “Es” (deep mind) by means of free association.

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Great. Now I can never eat pasta again …

Just reading that combination of these two words:

“Great Milan”

Just feels so odd. It´s like I´ve hardly ever seen it before.

Great Scott!

I feel Scott now.

On youtube you can find many (I say MANY) videos in which you can hear famous songs while reading on the subtitles the italian pareidolia.

Here is an example:

I’m sorry, because if you don’t understand italian, probably you won’t find those videos neither funny, nor interesting.

But, if you know both italian AND english, often these videos can make you REALLY laugh.
I discovered the existence of these video one evening I was really upset about job stuff, and my wife wanted me to smile, so she showed me this very one. I literally had to wipe tears from my eyes, I couldn’t stop laughing.

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The german equivalent to Mondegreen btw is “Der Weiße Neger Wumbaba” because of course the german variant has to be racist.

Can you please elaborate? The wiki page is in German, only.

In Dutch they’re called “Mama appelsap” (applejuice)… after the song of Micheal Jackson with the same lyrics.

Sex on fire by Kings of Leon is an almost completely Dutch song too. @Frenzie will enjoy this…

Or there’s this one with some more images (but different interpretations)

Someone should combine both to get the best result. “Je zak zit vol bijen!” :joy:

It´s from the famous german lullaby “Der Mond ist aufgegangen” very similar to the Mondegreen (“laid him on the green” sounding like “Lady Mondegreen”) some people seem to understand instead of “der weiße Nebel wunderbar” Der Weiße Neger Wumbaba" (The white negro Wumbaba, where in addition to the N word you get a very generic “bushman” sounding name in “Wumbaba”).

Thank you. Interesting and funny.
I mean, I don’t like racist jokes. Here the funny thing is not the racist joke itself. It’s that your brain can play you bad tricks. How can an innocent lullaby turn into a racist sentence? That’s unexpected and striking, and that’s probably what makes it funny. “white negro” is an interesting oxymoron.

Anyway, just to go off-topic… I hate the fact that years of offensive meaning by stupid racist people has deprived us of a neutral word to depict people of negroid heritage.

After all, that’s a matter of conventions, as always… I’ve just read the english wiki page for “negro”, it says that for a certain period “negro” was considered the most polite word to depict african americans, since “black” was considered more offensive.

I can totally understand that. I don’t like “black”. I don’t like “white”. For many reasons. First, I’m not white. I’ve never seen a person whose skin is WHITE. And, of course, I’ve never seen a person whose skin is BLACK.
Second, simplifying the skin tones in black and white seems to me a real contraposition. Why should we underline the difference between “them” and “us”. That’s really stupid.
If we don’t want to talk about race, we could talk about anthropologic groups, with different cultures, heritage, and so on. Every anthropologic group should have a NAME to depict themselves and to be proud of. The fact that today we’re still discussing about “colors”, and we are always asking ourselves if it is more polite to say “nero” (black, in italian) or “di colore” (colored, in italian), is appalling.
If I were a person of negroid heritage, I would feel very uncertain to which word to choose, and to be proud of.
All the words you can think of feel immediately inappropriate. Including “black”.
And that’s stupid “white”'s people fault.

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I don´t think black is that bad. Just as white. But if there is any other distinction I prefer that.

Thing is for instance, I would really prefer to someone of a certain tribe by the name of his or her tribe instead of saying “Indian” or “Bushman”(I mean telling a Massai from a Pygmy really isn´t that hard but in other cases it´s not so easy). If I know that I do. Too bad you don´t get told that like that often enough in media.

Works better than some I’ve seen, I suppose. :stuck_out_tongue:

My sister and I have a small facebook page where we share all kind of faces we see :stuck_out_tongue: have a look at it.

It was a recurrent joke, when I was a child, whenever we heard “back again” in a song. Because it kinda sounds like “ba’ cagai”, which is Sardinian for (literally) “go take a shit” or “fuck off”.

Or, “a road to go”. Which sounds like the Sardinian exclamation “arroddugò”, which is short for “arrori du coddidi”, meaning “may horror fuck him”.


You might like this:

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Haha :smile:

The Faces in Things Twitter account is also hilarious