If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

01 December 2005

Word of the Day: Cazzeggiare

Advice to all ye language learners out there: you know you're making progress when you're learning words not in the dictionary.

This one is the end of a long story, that started with Simon not having heat when I picked him up last Friday.

Of course, the house didn't have heat either, which was deemed the priority for that moment.

Simon, it is now discovered, needs a new radiator. Which is covered under the mandatory one year warranty for all cars sold ... even those for only 1000 Euros.(okay, there IS something to be said for a basically protectionist society...!)

After seeking the advice of sweet Paolo, 'il mio angelo di macchine' (my angel of the cars) here in my neighborhood, he told me what the problem was (so he was sure I wasn't taken advantage of,) then sent me back to the dealership (an hour away) with that information. They in turn sent us to THEIR mechanics.

Part is being ordered. Due in equal parts to language (and Florentine DIALECT!) struggles, lack of technical vocabulary, and admitted total disinterest in the inner workings of a car engine, I caught about 1/3 of the conversation that was going on between Il Cavaliere and the mechanic: the upshot of which is that they will call when the part arrives, 'maybe Monday or Tuesday'.

As we drove away (still-able-to-see-our-breath-inside-Simon), Il Cavaliere explained:

IC: (clearly troubled.) "Sadly, what this means is that you have to live with a car with no heat for a few more days."

V: "If it is safe to drive, it is no problem; but my feet are very cold driving in this car now. I will have to go buy socks made of wool."

IC: "And you also need better shoes, like mine. Yours are too dainty and not warm"

V: "I already have better boots, but I only wear them in the country."

IC: "You should have better city boots. Next week, you will have to bring the car back one morning. Then we will have to go 'cazzegiare' at the shopping center for a while while they fix it. While we are doing that, we can buy you better shoes for your cold feet."

I burst out laughing. Not having heard 'cazzegiare' specifically before, but combining it with Il Cavaliere's frustration with the situation and understanding its root word, I caught the gist of it.

At the end of the day today, I had IC write it down for me (visual learner that I am...): "La prossima settimana, IC. & V. vanno a Gigli a cazzegiare e a comprare gli scarponcelli per i piedi freddi di Viaggiatore."

Cazzegiare: (literally) - to 'dick around'. Probably casually interpreted as generally do nothing, goof off, screw around, or dilly-dally... but it is when you can casually throw around 'cazzegiare' that you know you're getting somewhere. The measure of fluency is always in slang.

Yes, a week later, brand-newish Simon needs a new radiator (still has no heat), and we're still dicking around with it. And somehow, it all seems charming not frustrating. There's gotta be something in the wine here that takes off what would otherwise be my sharp prickly edges about this situation!


Blogger american girl in italy said...

now THAT is a useful word! :OD Thanks for the new word. I love it.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, I posted my lip balm message under the Neil Diamond time warp post. Please apologize to the chair. N.Winkust

7:12 PM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

N.Winkust: as we know, the Chair didn't hear you. heehee. glad to see you're still around! xoxo, (v?)

12:34 AM  

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