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"goomba"
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2013/06/16
9:09pm
larrfirr
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2012/06/04
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I heard you discuss the word “goomba” and was a bit surprised to find out it had acquired the meaning of a dullard.   There are other Italian words that mean that, but the meaning of this word in Italian (actually in southern Italian dialects) is different.   While you will hear the “goomba” pronunciation in Neopolitan or Sicilian, the standard Italian word is “compare” and means a good friend.   It is equivalent to the Spanish “compadre”.   My parents were bilingual and the meaning I always heard it as was Godfather (in the literal sense, not the Mafia sense) The female equivalent “comare”  (goomada) means Godmother.     I suppose since your best friends become god parents to your children, that’s how the meaning changed.

2013/06/17
5:23am
RobertB
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2012/02/20
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There is also goombah, slang for same as the  Italian “compare”

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/goombah

Goomba as dullard must have been from Japanese video games, a different root.

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