Va Fa Napoli

In Italy they say, “Va fa Napoli”.  In fact, Italians everywhere can be found to say this phrase.  You don’t have to speak Italian, or ever have been to Italy to be familiar with the phrase.  Its literal meaning is, ‘go to Naples.’  That’s not really what it means though.

We had a conversation about coded language here this past week.  Some coded language is difficult to parse, while others are known by virtually everyone, and function as euphemisms.  ‘Va fa Napoli’ is one of those fun euphemisms, only made beautiful by the Italian esthetic.  ‘Va fa Napoli’ slides off the tongue like a sweet/tart sip of limoncello.  It must be something very nice, right?

About a week before our conversation here on BindleSnitch about language, a Russian warship approached Snake Island, which was a military installation held by Ukrainian soldiers.

The neat thing about the Russian warship approaching and communicating with the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island was that the Ukrainian’s response was essentially va fa Napoli.  The Ukrainians did not want the Russian warship there.  Telling them to go to Naples seems like a reasonable thing to say in that circumstance.  Go away!  Go to Naples…for all we care.  The Ukrainian soldiers did not seek a stylish dismissal that day.  Italian wouldn’t do.  They said what ‘Va fa Napoli’ actually means.  The Ukrainian soldiers said, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself!”

You are all news watchers, so you are probably well aware of that fact.  What you may not know is, Ukraine has now commemorated the event with a stamp.  The featured image is the Ukrainian stamp made to commemorate this event.  The Ukrainian soldiers survived the assault, and were taken prisoner by Russian sailors.  Ukraine has awarded them citations for their heroism.  As for me, I plan to get myself some of those stamps.

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