Goombah

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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").[1] 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.[2] 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.

When used by non-Italians, goomba is often derogatory in nature, implying a stereotypical Italian-American male or Mafioso.[1]

Goomba, Goombah, Gumba, Gumbah may also refer to:

See also[edit]

  • paisan, interchangeable non-pejorative slang for an Italian American

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Maven's Word of the Day: goombah". Words@Random. Random House, Inc. April 4, 1997. Archived from the original on April 18, 2001. 
  2. ^ Giacalone, David (April 1, 2006). "goomba goombah gumba gumbah". f/k/a.