Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jun 11 16:08:51 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 11:56 AM, Alice Faber <faber at> wrote:
> Laurence Horn wrote:
>> At 8:06 AM -0700 6/11/08, Mark Peters wrote:
>>> I've wondered about squadoosh... I've only heard it on PTI too.
>>> Could it be related to squat too? What a great word.
>> My speculation was that it was a form of a regional Italian variant
>> (from one of the regions where the final vowels are dropped), but I
>> have no idea whether that's the case.
> Funny, that was my speculation also, never having heard the item in
> question. I guess it helps to live in an area where that's the dominant
> Italian structure.

Maybe Thomas Pynchon has some insight, since in his 1963 novel _V_ he
named an Italian luxury liner "the Susanna Squaducci". This Pynchon
page conjectures a relationship to _sgualdrina_ "trollop, strumpet,
harlot, tart":

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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