Papal papal or papele papele? We explain the different idioms

by Chiara Sarracino

In some southern dialects one hears "papele papele“, in the rest of Italy There is the "papal papal“, Inherited from Roman dialect.
I'm two ways to say that, in the common speech of Southern Italy, yes confuse.

Let's be clear.

papele papele linen banfi
Lino Banfi and his "papele papele", one of the many expressions that made him famous in the 70s and 80s

Papele papele: a lot of imagination

Papele papele, according to many online sources and even according to some somewhat naive books on Neapolitanism, should derive from the ancient Greek πάπος (papos), which would mean, in fact, slow.
Too bad this term it does not exist in any dictionary. And slow in Greek translates as βραδύς (bradus).

There are many others imaginative reconstructions: some say it comes from Spanish papel, which means paper, and some say that "papele papele"Would mean"in a simple, concrete way", as if it were written on paper.

The truth is that there are no convincing proofs of this story, but it would be one of the so many confusions generated by the Internet. The diffusion of this expression, in fact, is quite enough recent and has an accomplice of exception: the good guy Lino Banfi.

Papal papal: direct and without frills

Rome, the Pope's august city, speaks so papal papal: no frills, bluntly, sincerely.

The term "papal papal”Is a clear reference to word of the pontiff who, in theory, should be super partes, clear and sincere.

A simpler explanation which, even if less suggestive than complex Greek reconstructions, brings us to the end of this curiosity.

-Chiara Sarracino

Antonio Salzano, Neapolitan-Italian Vocabulary, Edizioni del Giglio, 1979
Francesco Montanari, Vocabulary of the Greek Language III Edition
Rocci, Greek-Italian Vocabulary, 1959

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