apizza; pie

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Jul 12 04:02:14 UTC 2002

>The furthest afield use of apizza I have seen is in the name "Sal's Apizza",
>a parlor in Meriden, about 25 miles north of New Haven.  That may not seem
>far, but Meriden has little to do culturally or historically with New Haven.
>On the other hand the reputation of the Wooster Street-style "apizzas"
>within Connecticut may well explain the use of the term that far away.

There is "Tomatoes Apizza" in suburban Detroit, but it apparently is
recent, and its name apparently is based on its owner's recollections of
New Haven.

[There is of course the Abate Apizza and Seafood Restaurant in New Haven.]

There is the spelling "appizza" occasionally.

>So far, I have not been able to track down anything on the origin of
>_apizza_.  Anyone else?  Could it be regional or dialectal Italian?  Perhaps
>from an area in Italy from which  many New Haven immigrants came?

"Pizza" itself is apparently from a southern Italian dialect originally.

First, what is the origin of "pizza" in Italian (or Italian dialect)? [What
is its connection to Modern Greek "pitta" [bread] (which my Buck book says
is apparently derived from Italian/Latin)?]

"Pizza" in Italian should mean "point", I would think ... quite the
opposite of pizza-like flatness ....

It is speculated here and there that "pizza" is from a Germanic origin
(perhaps Lombard "bizzo" or so, meaning "bite"/"morsel"/"cake"), cognate
with English "bite" or German "Biss". This might not be very consistent
with the existence of a variant "a[p]pizza" in southern Italy (presumably
reflecting Latin prefix "ad").

Incidentally, a little Calabrian-Italian dictionary on the Web shows
Calabrian "pizza" = "cake" or so (equated to Italian "torta") but it also
shows Calabrian "pizza" with a grave accent on the "i" meaning "penis" --
more in line with "point", or Italian "picca" ("pike" etc.) (cf.
"piccante", "pizzicato", etc.).

-- Doug Wilson

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