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PIZZA

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PIZZA

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:00 am

• pizza •


Pronunciation: peet-sê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A southern Italian dish consisting of a thin piece of bread covered with tomato sauce and cheese, usually enhanced with other bits such as olives, sausage, and mushrooms.

Notes: Today's Good Word is still so warm from Italian that all its relatives are still purely Italian: a pizzaiolo is a pizza maker, while a pizzeria is a pizza parlor. A small pizza with a very thin crust is a pizzetta. (Did you know that?)

In Play: Although pizzas have been available in Italian restaurants throughout North America since the turn of the century, they languished unnoticed until the 1950s. They were originally called "tomato pies" or "pizza pies" since, in the American experience, they most resembled a thin pie with tomatoes. Pizza is now one of the most popular foods around the world, one of the few that will be delivered to your house.

Word History: Pizza has a historical pedigree going back over a thousand years. The word is first recorded in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD. That text claims that a certain tenant must give the bishop of Gaeta duodecim pizze "twelve pizzas", every Christmas day and another twelve every Easter Sunday. Did you know that pizza was originally a German(ic) word? It originated in Langobard, a Germanic language spoken in southern Italy way back when. The Langobard word was probably bizzo or pizzo "a bite", which comes from the same Proto-Germanic words as English bite and bit. The same word in Gothic, a northern Germanic language of roughly the same time related to Langobard, would have been pitta and probably was borrowed in northern Italy as pita, a bread similar to that of the pizza. (Today's tasty bite of English vocabulary was delivered by Sally Capotosto, to whom we are all very grateful.)
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Re: PIZZA

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:56 pm

Pizza, I knew it had a history back to Langobard, but not all
the rest.
My grandmother made pizza every Sunday night in the
1950's and she was as Irish as "Paddy's pig".
When in Italy in the l960's I ordered a pizza that came
covered with slices of ham and 3 fried eggs on top.
I really did not know what I was ordering, but it was
delicious, and took a picture of it to show back home.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:11 am

During my youth, there were no pizzas in Texas just as there were no tamales in New York. I was in my twenties and in New York City when I first encountered these Italian “things”. I had heard of them in “When the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza pie…” I have never gotten to like pizza. I am probably in the minority. Because I have grandchildren I am obliged to eat pizza on occasion. The Texas town of my nativity didn't have a pizza joint until about ten years ago. Some chain store pizzas are especially vile. I will not name them.

Pizza is not etymologically related to pie. Etymonline gives two possible sources of the word pie. The only one I am familiar with is from the bird named a pie or magpie. Pie was invented by the English and named by the English. Dessert pies were late-comers. In England, meat pies are probably more common than apple pies. That is why things are as American as apple pie. Home-made chicken-pie is my choice, hands down, over pizza. I advise you not to eat one of those soupy chicken-pot pies from the grocery freezer.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:43 pm

Some chain store pizzas are especially vile. I will not name them.
and some frozen grocery stores varieties are even worse:
ketchup on a soda cracker offers more.

Shepherd's Pie is British, I believe, tho' I've never had one.
I concur on store-bought pot pies, tho' I have a friend
whose home-made ones are delicioso.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:14 pm

Ate my first Pizza in Waco between 1953-1956. Fell in love with them and found several places with good stuff in Louisville the next three years. (Those were also the years I frequented Kaelins restaurant for Ky Fried.) I still prefer pizza from Italian restaurants, not chains, and a good substitute is DeGiorno's supreme. Yes, Slava, we're not talking about words, but about the connotations of words. Those cons include delicious memories!
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:06 am

Most pies are encased pastry. Shepheard's pie is not. It is simply a jumble of precooked vegetables and meat covered with mashed potatoes and baked until the potatoes on top begin to get slightly brown. Google "shepherd's pie". It's okay. It is eaten widely in England. I have eaten shepheard's pie many times as a pub lunch in England. My wife's meat and vegetable pies are cooked in pie crusts, the same as apple pie.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:22 am

Luke: Just how Irish is Paddy's pig? Paddy is a nickname for Patrick. I grew up in the McMullen and McGloin Land Grant region of South Texas from Corpus Christi up along the Nueces River. Many Irish-Texans predate early USA-Texans. They even predate most Irish immigrants to the USA. All my Irish ancestors were English Quaker refugees in Ireland before coming to the USA. Enlightened Ireland was into freedom of religion long before England was.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:33 pm

I googled Shepherd's Pie. I could definitely enjoy it. I like
soups and stews, so....

As for how Irish Paddy's Pig is, I don't know. It is probably
on Google as well (what isn't?). As Irish in Texas. I know
they were heavy into the building of the railroads. And a
story (legend?) says the Hispanic reference to "Gringos" comes
from the Spanish folk listening to the Irish night after night
singing their rendition of "Green Grow the Rushes Ho"
gave them the concept that those folk were Green-Grows.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Grow_the_Rushes,_O

http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.co ... rushes.htm
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Re: PIZZA

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:42 pm

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Re: PIZZA

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:07 am

Luke: Re your discussion of Irish laborers building railroads in Texas and the "Green Grow the Rushes" origin of “gringo”. You struck out twice.

The Irish who are famous for building the railroads were the same Irish who were lucky enough to haved survived as cannon fodder for the Union army and the "Help wanted - No Irish need apply" objects of “racism” in the large eastern cities. The "luck of the Irish" has almost been of the "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all," variety. Texas pleads innocent of all of the above. The Irish, along with the Chinese, built the first trans-continental railroad. It came nowhere near Texas. The Irish of Texas are a proud lot and indeed should be. A later influx of Irish in Texas came with the Great Depression when largely Protestant Irish sought refuge along the same Nueces River that the Irish Impresarios of a century earlier, almost all Catholic, first populated. Many of these “poor Irish” became leading citizens of the area, despite the undeserved early scorn heaped upon them by some of the original Texas Irish, and other Texans.

It is said that on Saint Patrick's Day everyone is an Irishman. I can buy that. Even though they were English, I am proud my ancestors got to enjoy the "auld sod " of Ireland for a while before coming to the American Colonies. I think I can claim to be Irish on the basis of that heritage. My wife’s Scottish name, Erwin, came from long ago Irish immigrants to Scotland. The Scottish name of Erwin actually means Irish people. Compare Erwin, Irwin, Irving, etc with the present day Irish name for Ireland. For all my love for the Irish, I don’t take Frank McCourt's (Angela’s Ashes) accounts in his books as anything but fiction. It didn’t happen. I consider the man is an inveterate liar, poor mouthing for effect.

As for gringo coming from the song "Green Grow the Rushes Ho" that Americans sang during the Mexican war, that is pure folk etymology. There are several more folk etymologies for “gringo”, including the green uniforms of the invading USA army. After all, green is not green in Spanish. Gringo is a Mexican variation of the Spanish word for "Greek" with the same meaning as the English, "It's Greek to me," comment. Mexicans and Tejanos called us Norteamericanos Gringos because we didn't speak Spanish. The Mexican War of 1846 not only showed unwarranted intrusion of the USA into Mexican affairs, it had a profound effect on the English and Mexican vocabulary. For example, the word “ranch” came from the Spanish word “rancho”, with a strange transmogrification. It didn’t mean “ranch” in Spanish. But when the Norteamericanos created a new word out of “rancho” due to ignorance, the Mexicans borrowed the new definition and took it into Mexican Spanish. Now “rancho” means “ranch” in Mexican Spanish.

Slava: Mindful of your desire to stick to the discussion of English, I have tried to tune this posting for your appreciation.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:08 am

Indeed, I was thinking only yesterday about proposing transmography as a word of the day. But I was going to look it up first, which I shall proceed to do.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:28 pm

Well I did think the whole 'gringo' thing a lot of urban
legend, and now I know the actual history.
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Re: PIZZA

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:41 pm

To transmogriphy from pies to words in transition: Natchitoches, La should not be confused with Nacogdoches, Tx, perhaps a hundred miles west. Natchitoches is famous for its meat pies, which remind me of fried apple pies only with meat instead of fruit.
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