“A fanabla!”


Gram used to always say this.  I never knew what it meant.  She seemed to use it in the way you might say “Oh, get out of here!”  Thanks to the research tool known as the internet, I’ve now learned that, at least according to several sources, this is a slang version of a phrase that literally means “Go to Naples!” but is understood to mean “Go to hell!” (in a good natured way).  That sounds like Gram!


10 Responses to ““A fanabla!””

  1. cmbetz Says:

    It is with lots of love that I remember Mom’s ” A fanabla”. I will take the “Go to Naples” – though believe it was the latter (in a good natured way).

  2. Laura Luchette Says:

    this one is great. i love it!

  3. Tommy Butler Says:

    Another one of Rosie’s favorite sayings (used to express disbelief or ironic exasperation) was, “Oh, my aching ass!” I still use this one.

  4. Laura Dzikowski Says:

    My great grandmother Santa, and my grandmother Angeline would say this I also wondered myself what it meant, it was used mostly in a good way, sometimes in a disgusted way..I love it though. Thank You for sharing

  5. Chris Watson Says:

    I grew up in Bristol Borough, PA and used to hear this all the time – including classmates to each other.

  6. Sean Says:

    I was always told that it meant “f*** off”

  7. Laura Says:

    Sean your way off! VaffanCULO, which is what I heard on a very rare occasion.

  8. Mike Says:

    I heard it meant “Go to Naples” also, but sometimes another phrase was added that meant “and take your mother.” The idea was that Naples was a seaport and there were a lot of …women who waited for the sailors to arrive.

  9. Molly Reda-Schneider Says:

    So true.. A derivative of Fa Napoli which later came to bay to vent frustration without having to go to confession.

  10. getpocket.com/@cosmoessay Says:

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found
    something which helped me. Cheers!

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