In addition to its particular food and wine tradition, Piedmont is rich in history and a past as a protagonist in the Italian and international environment.
Besides its food and its wines, it is vital, especially for the youngest, to remember the traditions that have made our region so great. A particular tradition at risk is the Piemontese, a Romance language, belonging to the group of Gallo-Italic languages spoken in northern Italy.
The Piedmontese is not really a dialect but must be considered a regional or minority language. It is in fact recognized among the European minority languages since 1981 (report 4745 of the Council of Europe) and is also listed by UNESCO, in the Atlas of the world’s languages in danger, among the languages worthy of protection.
We decided to share with you a part of our language, making a list of the 5 most curious expressions in Piedmontese
1. Trové Nosgnor ant l’òrt – Finding God in the Garden
It is used to indicate a great stroke of luck, completely unexpected and sudden. A bit like going to the vegetable garden and finding God there waiting for us.
2. Tiré ij caussèt – Pull the socks
Beyond the literal meaning, this expression indicates someone’s death. ‘A l’ha tirà ij caussét’, i.e he is dead. Of uncertain origin, someone identifies the meaning in the relaxation of muscular tension at the time of death, which would cause a sudden movement of the foot, so much to remove the sock.
3. A va come (‘me) na barca ant ën bòsch – I’m going like a boat in the woods
The comparison is also extremely effective in this case. A boat, perfect for sailing the seas, is not an excellent transport for the mainland, especially against the obstacles and irregularities of a forest. It is used, almost always in response to the question ‘how is it?’, To indicate that things do not go exactly for the best …
4. Avej na pera daré dla pòrta – Having a stone behind the door
This way of saying is used to indicate those who have the bad habit of not closing the door after their passage. It derives its origin from a simple and effective method of automatic closing of the door, very used at the time of our grandparents and our great-grandmothers: a pulley was installed on which ran a rope tied on one side to the door and at the other end to a weight, often a stone. Opening the door made the stone lift, which was pulled up through the pulley. Once the door was left opened, the weight of the stone brought it back down and the rope, which was consequently pulled, had the door closed.
5. Vate a caté ‘n casul – Go buy a ladle
If the literal meaning is apparently lacking, this expression is particularly loaded with content. In fact, it is a ‘polite’ way tell someone to buzz off. It is not clear why one’s invited to buy just a ladle, but it is certain that in Piedmont nobody wants to have a collection of them in their home.
Now that you have become a Piedmontese ad hoc, remember that to face the future we need to remember and appreciate the past … only in this way our traditions will continue to live forever!
See you next time
Stefano di Esclamazioni in Piedmontese