Pope accidentally says rude word, corrects self


Maybe he is dyslexic, like Travola? It might be a matter of accent though. I find it endlessly entertaining when I imagine Anglo-Canadians plying the waters in motorized boots.

Also, second languages and such.

Some Italians are noting that the literal translation is “dick” but in context/usage it is used as “fuck”.

Depends on just what the example was I guess, on whether it was a gaffe internally for the new Pope, LoL.

To be fair, the s in caso would be pronounced /z/ in a lot of romance languages, including french and latin (because it’s between two vowels).

It’s different in italian and spanish. In those two languages, it’s a /z/ before voiced consonants and /s/ before unvoiced consonants.

Before a vowel, in spanish it’s always /s/.

But in italian, it’s a /z/ before a vowel SOME of the time.

lasagne = /z/

caso = /s/

It’s case-by-case, and the poor^W man probably mixed the rules between french/latin/italian moreso than the spanish rules.


Since he’s speaking ex cathedra, he must be infallible, so it must have been the correct thing to say, right?

Anyway, as an Italian I’d say that any Italian hearing this spoken with his heavy non-native accent wouldn’t even notice the slip. It’s like noticing when a foreigner is speaking English with a thick accent and says something that sounds vaguely like “it’s a hot day, let’s go to the bitch.


I’d have to think of more examples to be sure, but I’m not certain you’re right.

The ‘s’ is a /z/ in both lasagne and caso – it’s the same sound in both words. What he (mistakenly) said was /t.ts/ – that’s the “pause” in the double-consonant “zz” in cazzo.*

In any case, the pronunciation of single and double consonants is a little tricky to master, as you say. Also the pronunciation of both ‘s’ and ‘z’ in the middle of words is heavily regionally influenced.

*Edit: Wikipedia tells me that this “pause” is called Germination

This exactly. Imagine if there were English words pronounced vuck, fug, and shid. We would barely notice when people, especially non-native speakers, got them wrong.

Um, no, he’s not speaking from the seat of Peter…or any seat. He is quite clearly standing.

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If only he had finished with a Dre-inspired “haec nuces!”

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If only we could live in a world where the Pope wouldn’t have to worry about cock coming out of his mouth.

The Pope’s Penis

It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
clapper at the center of a bell.
It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
halo of silver seaweed, the hair
swaying in the dark and the heat – and at night
while his eyes sleep, it stands up
in praise of God.

–Sharon Olds


I’m reminded of an anecdote of a friend of the family who speaks Spanish as a second language, who managed to mix up “cahones”, the word for drawers (such as in a desk or dresser), and “cojones”, a word which literally refers to courage but which is used as cursing slang for “balls” (as in having the balls to do something brash).

The guy at the hardware store of course knew what she meant, but couldn’t help teasingly responding that yes, they had very large balls, gesturing anticly as he said so and causing his coworkers to burst into laughter. The lady in question was naturally quite embarassed, grasping her error immediately, but it was good-natured teasing and it taught her a vocabulary lesson she’d never forget.

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It’s not his first language.

Edit: Ninja’d by yourself. I need to wake up.

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