FW: Query: alleged word "mingya"

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Mon Jan 6 14:46:22 UTC 2003

I remember hearing this word quite frequently in the speech of the
boys in my grammar school class, which was located in the
Merrimack Valley (these were working-class Catholic boys, fwiw,
but mainly of French-Canadian rather than Italian descent).  The
word really sticks in my head because I made the mistake of using
it one day in conversation with my mother (who speaks a Sicilian
dialect of Italian) and being shocked by her reaction:  "What did
you say?  Joanne, that's a terrible Italian swear-word!"  I had no
idea what it meant and was too cowed to ask her, but I see now
why she was upset.

Thanks to the Italophones on this list for shedding light on this

Joanne Despres

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