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28 Words With A Completely Different Meaning For Italian-Americans

"Do you want extra gravy on your pasta?" ::blank stares::

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2. Gravy

Annalisa Antonini / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 29076234@N00

What it usually means: A brownish sauce made from the juices of cooked meat.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Another name for marinara sauce, much to the confusion of all your non-Italian-American friends.

4. Grandmother

Via giphy.com

What it usually means: The mother of one of your parents.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Your nonna, the person who is responsible for your gaining at least 5 pounds every time you visit her.

5. Food

John Riviello / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: johnriv

What it usually means: The stuff you consume regularly in order to live and function properly.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The stuff your nonna forces to you eat until the plate is clean — or else you'll get yelled at or be asked, "You didn't like it?"

6. Marriage

Courtesy of Jennifer Mungiguerra Ferri

What it usually means: When two people in a loving relationship are wed.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The thing your older relatives believe should be your main goal in life and press you about every time they see you.

7. Jesus

Picasa / Via commons.wikimedia.org

What it usually means: The central figure in Christianity, believed to be the son of God.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The guy in that picture in every single room in the house, to whom your older relatives pray you find a good husband/wife one day.

8. Funeral

ABC Family / Via rogueslayer452.livejournal.com

What it usually means: A ceremony honoring the death of a loved one.

What it means to Italian-Americans: A ceremony honoring the death of a loved one, plus an excuse to eat.

9. Espresso

Loungerie / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: loungerie

What it usually means: A strong, concentrated coffee.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Coffee made by your nonna with effects comparable to crystal meth.

10. Plastic

mikanet.com

What it usually means: A synthetic material used for making many common objects.

What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing that prevented you from ever knowing what the soft touch of a couch felt like as a child.

11. Pasta

Taidoh / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: taidoh

What it usually means: A macaroni or noodle dish, usually topped with sauce.

What it means to Italian-Americans: An appetizer. At every meal. Including Thanksgiving.

12. Wine

SHINJI KAJIWARA/SHINJI KAJIWARA

What it usually means: A drink you learned to love in adulthood, especially for celebrations or at a bar.

What it means to Italian-Americans: A drink you learned to love at age 16, just hangin' around the dinner table.

13. Sunday

theintlkitchen / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: theintlkitchen

What it usually means: The day before Monday, usually reserved for relaxing.

What it means to Italian-Americans: A day on which all your plans got canceled for an all-out feast with the fam.

15. Olive Oil

JanPietruszka/JanPietruszka

What it usually means: An oil made from olives used for cooking and as a condiment.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The only oil you were convinced existed until you learned otherwise in your adult years.

16. Moving Out

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Via omgcutethings.com

What it usually means: The thing you do when you graduate college and/or have a job that allows you to be financially independent.

What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing you never do.

17. Sandwich

images4.newscred.com

What it usually means: What your parents packed in your lunchbox, usually filled with ham, bologna, or turkey with cheese.

What it means to Italian-Americans: What your parents packed in your lunchbox, usually filled with mortadella, prosciutto, or capicola, with mozzarella.

18. Nutella

owlgray / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: gymnasticks

What it usually means: A dessert spread made from chocolate and hazelnuts.

What it means to Italian-Americans: A breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert spread found in economy-sized containers in your home.

19. Christmas

jazzijava / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: reid-bee

What it usually means: A celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

What it means to Italian-Americans: An excuse to eat a shit ton of food (especially seafood, on Christmas Eve).

20. Sweet 16

MTV / Via mtv.com

What it usually means: A party thrown in celebration of a girl's 16th birthday.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The biggest party of a girl's life outside of her wedding, complete with limo ride and bridal-party-style couples.

21. Mob

Warner Bros. / Via chickenbroccoli.it

What it usually means: A secret organized group of criminals.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The thing that one uncle who only makes appearances at weddings and funerals might be involved with.

22. Earrings

Fotoindy/Fotoindy

What it usually means: Jewelry that you wear in your ears whenever you decide to get your ears pierced.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Jewelry you wear in your ears as soon as you turn 3 months old.

23. Tupperware

Wayne Marshall / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 37701355@N00

What it usually means: A storage container for food and condiments.

What it means to Italian-Americans: That thing your family brings with them to all family functions to store leftovers in.

24. Jersey Shore

MTV / Via dave5104.tumblr.com

What it usually means: A beach town for fun summer getaways.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The most horrifying representation of Italian-Americans ever. (But a fun show to watch because, let's be real...you know someone who should've been on this show.)

25. Wooden Spoon

Cloud7Days/Cloud7Days

What it usually means: A tool used for cooking.

What it means to Italian-Americans: A tool used for cooking and for chasing misbehaving children (and adults) around the house.

26. Cannoli

Onofrio Scaduto / Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

What it usually means: A deep-fried pastry filled with sweet ricotta cream.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Practically a religious experience.

27. Indoor Voice

DreamWorks / Via prayingthegayaway.tumblr.com

What it usually means: A softer way of speaking when you're somewhere quiet/don't want to disturb people.

What it means to Italian-Americans: Sorry, this word does not exist in Italian-American vernacular.

28. Family

Courtesy of Maria Favilla-Salvaggio

What it usually means: A group of related people who love and care for one another.

What it means to Italian-Americans: The people who, despite being completely dysfunctional and almost always driving you crazy, you love more than anything and wouldn't trade for any other family in the world.

This post has been updated to remove an image at the subject's request.

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