I am not sure it is correct to call Milanese a dialect of Italian or more a cousin of Italian -- it actually has more in common with Occitan and Catalan*:SteveM wrote: Lack of etymology suggests to me that its roots are not to be found in latin or greek or arabic; as I have long maintained, I think it came to mean 'fool', blockhead figuratively from a word meaning tree/stump/log probably that survived in certain dialects such as Milanese.
Milanese is to be classified as a Gallo-Romance language, therefore coordinate with French, Piedmontese, Ligurian, Rumantsch, Ladin and, most of all, with Occitan and Catalan.
end quote from: http://devecchi.tripod.com/grammatica.html
Carlo Porta, c.1800, translated a portion of Dante's Inferno into Milanese: here are a few verses for example, to show the big differences between the two, (and also because it refers to the 13th tarot in Milanese) :
Di quella umile Italia fia salute
per cui morì la vergine Cammilla,
Eurialo e Turno e Niso di ferute.
Questi la caccerà per ogne villa,
fin che l’avrà rimessa ne lo ’nferno,
Ond’io per lo tuo me’ penso e discerno
che tu mi segui, e io sarò tua guida,
là onde ’nvidia prima dipartilla.
Porta's Milanese translation:
Costuu de Italia el salvarà quell tocch
ch’ha faa andà Nis e Eurial in partendel
a fà on salud al tredes de tarocch,
tant quant Turno e Camilla per defendel;
e el farà tant sto can che a pocch a pocch
el casciarà el bestion, bojand, mordendel,
in l’inferno de dove el dè el sghimbiett
quand l’invidia la gh’ha smollaa el collett.
'Tredes de tarocch' simply means the 13th tarot, that is as a figurative phrase for death; in reference here to 'the virgin Camilla, Nis, Eurial and Turno who died from their wounds' (per cui morì la vergine Cammilla et al).
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yW0r ... 22&f=false
So far I have found the phrase is used by poets and in opera librettos from c.mid-18th century on, among writers of 'dialetto Milanese'.
Many milanese-italian dictionaries simply translate Tarocch as Minchiate (as in the card-game, fool, foolish, stupid, penis, nonsense, a trifle), (tarocco - game, but also as in wrath, anger, impatience, temper?), Germini (gemini - the highest of the astrological trumps in minchiate?), which reminds me of the previously discussed Farsa Satyra Morale by Venturino Venturini of Pesaro (c.1510/21):
Mancava anchora el gioco de tarocchi,
Chesser mi par tuo pasto: e un altro anchora
Minchion, sminchiata voise dir da sciocchi.
There is still the game of tarot,
that seems to me your meal*: and still yet another
Minchion, sminchiata or, as you may say, of fools.
(The games of tarocchi or minchion or sminchiate are, in other words, the games 'of fools' or 'of the fool'.)
*lit: that seems to me your meal, i.e., that I think would be to your liking, or suitable for you, or in english idiom - your cup of tea.
*Catalan - one of the earliest card names we have, naip - is recorded in Catalan* (by a poet) - and it has been argued that the word does not derive from arabic as many (most) suggest, but is in fact a Catalan word cognate with the Old French naif, that is 'silly, foolish'.
*From a dictionary of Catalan rhyming words by poet Jaume March:
( — ^P)'- Macip, felip, garip, xorip, naip, estip, dip.
Online here: http://www.archive.org/stream/diccionar ... c_djvu.txt
For more info:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Uqrv ... ip&f=false