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Optional spellings Goomba, Goombah, Gumba, Gumbah.
Goombah is the Americanized spelling of cumpa, a Southern Italian dialectic version of the Italian word compare (masculine "friend"). In many Southern Italian dialects (see Neapolitan language and Sicilian language) C is pronounced like G and P is pronounced like B. The feminine form commare therefore sounded like "goommody", sometimes shortened to "goomah".
Gumba is a slang noun for a companion or associate, especially an older friend who acts as a patron, protector, or adviser. It probably derived as an alteration of Italian compare (godfather), from medieval Latin compater. These terms were used to designate a close friend, but not a relative, who was in your wedding party or whose wedding party you were in, or one who was a godparent to your child or if you were a godparent to one of theirs.
Goomba, Goombah, Gumba, Gumbah may also refer to:
- Goombas, fictional creatures in the Super Mario video game series
- Goomba, a Game Boy video game emulator named for the Mario creature
- A dumb person
- A Goomba's Guide to Life, a book by Steve Schirripa and Charles Fleming (ISBN 1-4000-4639-4)
- Goombah, alternative spelling of gumbe, a Jamaican drum; see List of Caribbean drums and Music of Jamaica
- Local term for Goombala Road in Victoria, Australia
- paisan, interchangeable non-pejorative slang for an Italian American
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