Pi un curnutu, un curnutu e menzu | Sicilian Sayings
Welcome back to a brand new post on Sicilian Sayings! Again, a big thanks to everyone that is supporting us with new suggestions and to everyone that is enjoying this new series of blog posts; if you want to suggest our next Sicilian Saying, feel free to drop us an email or leave a comment!
Today we have decided to talk to you about one of the most famous sayings not only in Sicily but also in other parts of the world…
Pi un Curnutu, un curnutu e menzu
For a horned man, a horned man and a half.
You will have noticed that we have not translated the word ‘cornuto’ as cuckold, and there is a very precise reason for this. The literal Italian translation makes us immediately associate the word ‘cornuto’ with the husband betrayed by his wife, and this happens practically all over Italy. In Sicily, the term ‘curnutu’ has many meanings, for example, stubborn, determined, hard-headed, knowing his business, selling his skin at a high price. The apotheosis of all these examples of stubbornness can also be summed up in a single word, namely ‘corna dura’ (dura = strong, though), which from a potentially derogatory meaning, becomes instead a compliment!
This Sicilian saying is used to emphasise that in order to stand up to a Curnutu (so in this case a capable, clever, tough guy) you have to be more capable, stubborn and headstrong than him.