[Lingtyp] Grammatical marking of insults (?)

Giorgia Troiani gtroiani at ucsb.edu
Wed Dec 15 11:05:45 UTC 2021

On Wed, Dec 15, 2021 at 11:03 AM Paolo Ramat <paoram at unipv.it> wrote:

> In Italian too *pezzo di X  *'espèce de X' , as in *pezzo di idiota *and
> the very insulting, derogating* (*but very much used)* pezzo di merda, *appears
> just in derogating expressions: you will never hear * *pezzo di  genio, *
> nor* *pezzo di benefattore !*

This is probably tangential to the whole discussion, but in the variety of
Italian I speak (I am from Milan) the construction *pezzo di [various terms
for female genitals] *is a quite common way to compliment a woman on her
beauty. The counterpart for men is *pezzo di manzo *("piece of beef", I
guess "beefcake" would be a free translation). I would consider these not
to be derogating expressions (at least in the intention of the speaker),
but I am open to different interpretations.

Giorgia Troiani (she/they)

PhD Candidate, Linguistics, University of California Santa Barbara
Visiting scholar, English Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Website <https://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/giorgia-troiani>
Zoom room <http://ucsb.zoom.us/my/giorgiatroiani>
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