Top 42 Slang For Italian Gangster – Meaning & Usage

Italian gangsters have long captured the imagination of people around the world, thanks in no small part to iconic movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas. But have you ever wondered what slang terms they use to communicate with each other? Look no further! We’ve delved into the underworld of Italian gangsters to bring you a list of their most intriguing and distinctive slang words and phrases. Get ready to immerse yourself in the language of the mob and gain some street cred along the way!

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1. Stronzate

This term is used to describe something that is nonsense or false. It can also be used to call someone a liar or to express disbelief.

  • For example, if someone tells a ridiculous story, you might respond with, “That’s stronzate!”
  • In a heated argument, one person might accuse the other of talking stronzate.
  • When someone spreads false information, you could say, “Don’t listen to his stronzate.”

2. Goombah

This term is used to refer to a close friend or companion, often within the context of Italian-American communities. It can also be used to describe someone who is part of a criminal organization.

  • For instance, if two friends are inseparable, you might say, “Those two are like goombahs.”
  • In a movie about Italian-American mobsters, a character might introduce their goombah to someone.
  • When talking about loyalty, someone might say, “You can always count on your goombah.”

3. Un/una saccente

This term is used to describe someone who acts like they know everything and is often perceived as arrogant or condescending. It can also be used to refer to someone who is knowledgeable in a particular field.

  • For example, if someone constantly corrects others or offers unsolicited advice, you might call them un saccente.
  • In a discussion about a specific topic, someone might say, “He’s a real una saccente when it comes to cars.”
  • When someone boasts about their intelligence, you could say, “Don’t be such an una saccente.”

4. Chiaccierone

This term is used to describe someone who talks excessively or boasts about themselves. It can also refer to someone who spreads rumors or gossips.

  • For instance, if someone is always talking but never takes action, you might call them a chiaccierone.
  • In a group of friends, one person might playfully tease another by saying, “You’re such a chiaccierone.”
  • When someone spreads false information, you could say, “Ignore that chiaccierone and find the truth yourself.”

5. Che bruta

This term is used to describe someone who is unattractive or unpleasant in appearance. It can also be used sarcastically to tease a friend in a lighthearted manner.

  • For example, if someone shows you an unflattering photo, you might jokingly say, “Che bruta!”
  • In a playful banter between friends, one might say, “You’re such a che bruta.”
  • When someone makes a funny face, you could say, “Oh, che bruta!”

6. Che peccato

This Italian phrase is used to express disappointment or regret about a situation or outcome. It can also be used sarcastically.

  • For example, if someone spills their drink, you might say, “Che peccato!”
  • In a conversation about a missed opportunity, someone might say, “Che peccato that you didn’t go to the party.”
  • If someone fails a test, a friend might jokingly say, “Che peccato, you were so prepared!”

7. Bello

In Italian slang, “bello” is often used to describe something or someone as beautiful, good, or cool. It can be used to express admiration or approval.

  • For instance, if someone sees a nice car, they might say, “Che bello!”
  • When complimenting a friend’s outfit, you could say, “Sei proprio bello oggi!”
  • In a discussion about a delicious meal, someone might exclaim, “Questo piatto è davvero bello!”

8. Cafone

This Italian slang term is used to describe someone who is rude, uncultured, or lacking manners. It can be used as an insult or to criticize someone’s behavior.

  • For example, if someone cuts in line, you might say, “Che cafone!”
  • In a conversation about a person’s disrespectful actions, someone might say, “È davvero un cafone.”
  • If someone is being impolite at a social event, you could comment, “Che cafone, non si comporta così!”

9. Omerta

This term refers to the code of silence and secrecy that is traditionally associated with Italian organized crime. It emphasizes the importance of not cooperating with law enforcement or sharing information about criminal activities.

  • For instance, in a discussion about the Mafia, someone might say, “Omerta is a fundamental principle in their operations.”
  • If someone refuses to testify in court, they might be accused of following the omerta.
  • In a movie about Italian gangsters, a character might say, “Omerta is the only law we follow.”

10. Amico

In Italian slang, “amico” is commonly used to refer to a friend or buddy. It can be used as a term of endearment or to address someone informally.

  • For example, when greeting a friend, you might say, “Ciao amico!”
  • In a conversation about plans, you could ask, “Amico, cosa fai stasera?”
  • If someone helps you out, you might express gratitude by saying, “Grazie, amico mio!”

11. Mortadella

This term refers to someone who betrays their gang or associates by providing information to the authorities. It is commonly used to describe a person who breaks the code of silence and cooperates with law enforcement.

  • For example, in a mafia movie, a character might say, “Don’t trust him, he’s a mortadella.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime, someone might ask, “What happens to mortadellas in the mob?”
  • A news article might report, “The trial revealed that the mortadella had been feeding information to the police for years.”

12. Chiudere il becco

This phrase literally translates to “shut your beak” and is used to tell someone to be quiet or stop talking. It can be a warning or a command, often used in a forceful or threatening manner.

  • For instance, in a gangster movie, a character might say, “Chiudere il becco, or I’ll shut it for you.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might yell, “Chiudere il becco, you don’t know what you’re talking about!”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Chiudere il becco and listen to me!”

13. Fratellanza

This term refers to the close-knit bond and loyalty among members of an Italian gang or criminal organization. It signifies the sense of family and unity within the group.

  • For example, a gang leader might say, “We are bound by the fratellanza, and we will protect each other.”
  • In a documentary about organized crime, an expert might discuss the importance of fratellanza in maintaining power and control.
  • A news article might describe a gang’s activities as “a display of fratellanza and unwavering loyalty.”
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14. Pazzo

This word is used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or exhibits erratic behavior. In the context of Italian gangster slang, it can also be used as a nickname or a term of endearment.

  • For instance, a gang member might say, “Watch out for Pazzo, he’s unpredictable.”
  • In a conversation about a notorious gangster, someone might mention, “They called him Pazzo because of his wild antics.”
  • A news headline might read, “Pazzo gang member arrested after a series of violent incidents.”

15. Va fa napole

This phrase is a vulgar insult that translates to “go f*** yourself” in English. It is used to express anger, contempt, or frustration towards someone. In the context of Italian gangster slang, it can be a way to assert dominance or intimidate others.

  • For example, a gangster might say, “Va fa napole, I don’t have time for your nonsense.”
  • In a confrontation, one person might yell, “Va fa napole, you think you can mess with me?”
  • A news article might report, “During the altercation, the suspect shouted ‘Va fa napole’ at the victim.”

16. Imbarasso

This term refers to a situation that brings shame or humiliation to a person or group. In the context of Italian gangsters, “imbarasso” can be used to describe a situation that is embarrassing or awkward.

  • For example, if a gangster fails to complete a task or makes a mistake, his fellow gang members might say, “That’s an imbarasso for the whole crew.”
  • In a conversation about the reputation of a gang, someone might mention, “Any imbarasso can damage the image of the organization.”
  • A gangster might warn his associates, “Let’s avoid any imbarasso situations that could attract unwanted attention.”

17. Capo

This term refers to the leader or boss of an organized crime family or gang. The “capo” is responsible for making decisions, enforcing discipline, and overseeing the activities of lower-ranking members.

  • For instance, in a discussion about the hierarchy of a crime organization, someone might explain, “The capo is second in command, just below the boss.”
  • In a movie or TV show about Italian gangsters, a character might say, “We need to report to the capo and get his approval.”
  • A gangster might boast, “I’m the capo of my crew, and nobody messes with me.”

18. Wiseguy

This term is used to describe someone who is street-smart, cunning, and experienced in the ways of organized crime. A “wiseguy” is typically a member of an Italian-American crime family or gang.

  • For example, if someone is known for their ability to navigate the criminal underworld, they might be called a “wiseguy.”
  • In a conversation about the qualities of a successful gangster, someone might say, “You need to be a wiseguy to survive in this business.”
  • A gangster might introduce himself by saying, “I’m Tony, a wiseguy who knows how to get things done.”

19. Made man

This term refers to a fully initiated member of an Italian-American crime family or gang. To become a “made man,” an individual must go through a formal initiation ceremony and take an oath of loyalty to the organization.

  • For instance, if someone is recognized as a made man, they have earned the respect and trust of their fellow gang members.
  • In a discussion about the hierarchy of a crime family, someone might explain, “Only made men have the authority to give orders.”
  • A gangster might say, “I’ve been a made man for over 10 years, and I’ve earned my place in this family.”

20. Cosa Nostra

This term refers to the Italian-American Mafia or organized crime in general. “Cosa Nostra” translates to “our thing” in Italian and is used to describe the secretive and exclusive nature of the criminal organization.

  • For example, if someone asks about the origins of the Mafia, you might explain, “Cosa Nostra has its roots in Sicily and was brought to the United States by Italian immigrants.”
  • In a conversation about organized crime, someone might say, “Cosa Nostra operates through a strict code of conduct and loyalty.”
  • A gangster might use the term to assert his affiliation, saying, “I’m part of Cosa Nostra, and we protect our own.”

21. Mafioso

A mafioso is a member of the Italian-American Mafia, also known as La Cosa Nostra. The term is used to refer to individuals who are involved in organized crime and operate within the hierarchy of the Mafia.

  • For example, “He’s a known mafioso who is involved in drug trafficking.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime, someone might say, “The mafiosi have a strict code of conduct and loyalty.”
  • A journalist reporting on a Mafia trial might write, “The court heard testimonies from former mafiosi who turned state’s witness.”

22. Goomba

Goomba is a slang term used to describe a close associate or friend of a mafioso. It can also refer to a member of an Italian-American community who is involved in or associated with organized crime.

  • For instance, “He’s a goomba of the boss, always by his side.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “A goomba would never betray their boss.”
  • A character in a mob movie might say, “I can always count on my goombas to have my back.”

23. Consigliere

A consigliere is a high-ranking advisor to the boss of a Mafia family. They provide counsel and guidance on important decisions and often act as a mediator or negotiator.

  • For example, “The consigliere played a crucial role in brokering peace between rival families.”
  • In a discussion about hierarchy, someone might say, “The consigliere is the trusted right-hand of the boss.”
  • A character in a mob drama might seek the consigliere’s advice by saying, “I need to talk to the consigliere about this delicate matter.”

24. Enforcer

An enforcer is an individual within the Mafia who is responsible for enforcing discipline and ensuring compliance with the organization’s rules. They often use intimidation, violence, or threats to maintain control.

  • For instance, “He’s the enforcer of the family, known for his ruthless tactics.”
  • In a conversation about the Mafia’s operations, someone might say, “The enforcer takes care of any problems that arise.”
  • A character in a crime novel might describe an enforcer by saying, “He’s a feared enforcer, known for his brutality.”

25. Underboss

An underboss is the second-in-command within a Mafia family, directly below the boss. They have significant authority and are responsible for overseeing the family’s operations in the boss’s absence.

  • For example, “The underboss is a powerful figure who helps run the day-to-day affairs of the family.”
  • In a discussion about hierarchy, someone might say, “The underboss is the boss’s right-hand and potential successor.”
  • A journalist reporting on a Mafia trial might write, “The court heard testimonies from former underbosses who provided insights into the family’s activities.”

26. Button man

A “button man” is a slang term for a professional killer or hitman in the Italian mob. The term is derived from the idea that pressing a button can cause something to happen, similar to how a hitman can cause someone’s death.

  • For example, in a crime novel, a character might say, “The button man was hired to take out the rival gang leader.”
  • In a movie about the Italian mob, a character might warn, “Watch out for the button man, he’s ruthless.”
  • A discussion about organized crime might mention, “The button man is a crucial role in the hierarchy of the mafia.”

27. Rat

In the context of Italian gangster slang, a “rat” refers to an informant or someone who provides information to the authorities or rival gangs. The term implies that the person is betraying their own group.

  • For instance, in a crime TV show, a detective might say, “We need to find out who the rat is in the organization.”
  • In a conversation about criminal activities, someone might accuse another person, “Don’t trust him, he’s a rat.”
  • A news article might report, “The police received crucial information from a rat within the gang.”

28. Goomah

In Italian gangster slang, a “goomah” refers to a mistress or a woman who is romantically involved with a married man, especially a member of the mob. The term is derived from the Italian word “comare,” which means godmother or close female friend.

  • For example, in a mob movie, a character might introduce his goomah to his friends, saying, “This is my goomah, Angela.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might ask, “Does his wife know about his goomah?”
  • A gossip magazine might publish an article titled, “Famous Italian mobsters and their goomahs.”

29. Bada Bing

“Bada Bing” is a phrase commonly used by Italian gangsters to express satisfaction or approval. It is often used in response to something positive or exciting.

  • For instance, in a mob TV series, a character might exclaim, “Bada Bing, we just pulled off the heist of the century!”
  • In a conversation about a successful business deal, someone might say, “We closed the deal, bada bing!”
  • A person sharing good news might say, “I got the job I wanted, bada bing!”

30. Omertà

Omertà is an Italian word that refers to the code of silence and secrecy among members of the Italian mafia. It emphasizes loyalty, non-cooperation with authorities, and a refusal to provide information about criminal activities.

  • For example, in a documentary about the mob, a narrator might explain, “Omertà is a fundamental principle that governs the behavior of mafia members.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime, someone might say, “Breaking omertà is considered a grave offense within the mafia.”
  • A news article might report, “The witness refused to testify due to fear of violating omertà.”

31. Vendetta

A vendetta is a long-standing feud or rivalry between two families or individuals, typically involving a series of retaliatory acts. It is often associated with seeking revenge for a perceived wrongdoing or injustice.

  • For example, “He swore a vendetta against the rival gang after they killed his brother.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime, one might say, “Vendettas were common among Italian gangsters in the early 20th century.”
  • A movie about the Italian mafia might depict a character saying, “This vendetta ends tonight.”

32. The Family

“The Family” is a common term used to refer to the Italian-American Mafia, also known as Cosa Nostra. It represents the close-knit nature of the criminal organization and the loyalty its members have towards one another.

  • For instance, a news article might mention, “Members of The Family were arrested in a major drug bust.”
  • In a documentary about the Mafia, a narrator might explain, “The Family was known for its strict code of silence.”
  • A person discussing organized crime might say, “The Family operated various illegal businesses, including gambling and extortion.”

33. Mobster

A mobster is a member of a criminal organization, typically involved in organized crime activities such as racketeering, smuggling, and extortion. The term is often used to refer to Italian-American gangsters, particularly those associated with the Italian-American Mafia.

  • For example, “He was a notorious mobster who controlled the underground gambling scene.”
  • In a discussion about famous criminals, one might mention, “Al Capone was one of the most famous mobsters in history.”
  • A movie about the Mafia might feature a character saying, “I’ve been a mobster since I was a teenager.”

34. Bootlegger

A bootlegger is a person who illegally produces, distributes, or sells alcoholic beverages, especially during the Prohibition era in the United States. The term is often associated with Italian-American gangsters who profited from the illegal alcohol trade.

  • For instance, “During the 1920s, bootleggers smuggled alcohol from Canada into the United States.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime during Prohibition, one might say, “Bootleggers made huge profits by supplying speakeasies with illegal booze.”
  • A documentary about the Prohibition era might explain, “Bootleggers used secret tunnels and hidden compartments in vehicles to transport alcohol.”

35. G-man

A G-man is a slang term used to refer to a federal agent, particularly those from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The term originated in the early 20th century and is often associated with the efforts to combat organized crime.

  • For example, “The G-men were determined to bring down the Italian mob in the 1930s.”
  • In a discussion about law enforcement, one might say, “G-men played a crucial role in dismantling organized crime networks.”
  • A movie about the FBI might feature a character saying, “I’m a G-man, and I’m here to take down the mob.”

36. Fugazi

This term is used to describe something that is fake or counterfeit, often in the context of counterfeit goods or scams. It can also be used to describe something or someone that is unreliable or not trustworthy.

  • For example, “Those designer handbags are fugazi, they’re not the real deal.”
  • In a discussion about scams, someone might say, “Be careful of that website, it’s all fugazi.”
  • A person might use the term to describe a dishonest business, saying, “That company is known for selling fugazi products.”

37. Takedown

This term refers to the act of arresting or defeating someone, often in the context of law enforcement or organized crime. It can also be used more broadly to describe a decisive victory or a successful action.

  • For instance, “The police executed a takedown and apprehended the suspect.”
  • In a sports context, one might say, “The team’s star player scored the winning goal, it was a takedown.”
  • A person discussing a successful business venture might say, “We made a strategic takedown of our competitors in the market.”

38. Bootleg

This term is used to describe something that is illegal or unauthorized, often referring to the production or distribution of goods. It can also be used to describe something that is low-quality or makeshift.

  • For example, “He sells bootleg DVDs of the latest movies.”
  • In a discussion about music, someone might say, “I found a bootleg recording of the concert online.”
  • A person might use the term to describe a makeshift solution, saying, “We had to come up with a bootleg fix to get the machine working again.”

39. Gotti

This term is a reference to John Gotti, a notorious Italian-American mobster who was the boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. It is used to refer to a boss or leader within organized crime.

  • For instance, “He’s the Gotti of this crew, everyone answers to him.”
  • In a discussion about organized crime, one might say, “The Gotti family was one of the most powerful in the city.”
  • A person discussing leadership might say, “To be successful, you need to have the qualities of a Gotti.”

40. Mobbed up

This term is used to describe someone or something that is associated with the mob or organized crime. It can also refer to someone who has connections or affiliations with the criminal underworld.

  • For example, “He’s mobbed up, you don’t want to mess with him.”
  • In a discussion about corruption, someone might say, “The politician is mobbed up, he’s involved in illegal activities.”
  • A person might use the term to describe a business that is controlled by organized crime, saying, “That club is mobbed up, it’s a front for illegal activities.”

41. Cugine

In Italian-American slang, “cugine” is a term used to refer to members of the same Italian-American gang or criminal organization who are considered part of the same “family.” It is similar to calling them “cousins” in a figurative sense.

  • For example, a gang member might say, “We’re all cugine here. We look out for each other.”
  • In a conversation about organized crime, someone might mention, “The cugine of the mafia are bound by loyalty and honor.”
  • A journalist reporting on the activities of an Italian-American gang might write, “The cugine of the gang were involved in a series of illegal activities.”

42. Zips

In the context of Italian-American gangster slang, “zips” refers to Sicilian immigrants or individuals of Sicilian descent. It is derived from the term “zipperhead,” which was a derogatory term used towards Sicilian immigrants in the early 20th century.

  • For instance, a gang member might say, “Watch out for those zips. They’re tough and don’t back down.”
  • In a discussion about the history of Italian-American organized crime, someone might mention, “The zips played a significant role in the development of the mafia.”
  • An author writing a book about the Italian-American mafia might state, “The zips were often targeted by law enforcement due to their involvement in criminal activities.”