Lucky Dog 1 dictionary

Here be terms that have or will likely appear in my Lucky Dog 1 translation at some point in time.  It will be constantly updating.

Definitions are taken from Wikipedia pages and The American Mafia – Underworld Slang.

Also included here is a rudimentary Italian “dictionary” (mostly of swears) for words that appear in LD.  An actual Italian-English dictionary is available here.

Finally, there’s an “other” dictionary for random stuff.

Administration – The three-man ruling panel consisting of the Boss, the Consigliere, and the Underboss.

American Mafia – Originated from the Sicilian Mafia, but after generations apart, customs have slightly differed.  The largest organized crime syndicate in the US.  The biggest families are in New York, Detroit, and Chicago, and some in Florida and Las Vegas.  More information on this page.

  • Mafia appears quite a bit in popular media.  The most popular are: Scarface, The Godfather Trilogy, Goodfellas, Casino, Untouchables, Donnie Brasco, and The Sopranos.  Two famous authors who write about them are Mario Puzo and James Ellroy.

Arrest – To be arrested is to be “pinched.”

Associate – Someone who deals with the Mafia but not necessarily of Italian descent.  They’re not bound by the same rules made men are, but also are not offered the same protection.

Beef – Hard feelings or a quarrel between made members.  May be solved by a “sit-down.”

Booking – A gambling racket, usually with sports events.  Run by a “bookmaker.”

Boss – The head of the family.  His word is absolute.  Can be called Father, Godfather, or Uncle.  There was originally a position called capo di tutti capi or “Boss of all Bosses” (or capo di capi) who was the head of all families, but that position was abolished by Charlie Luciano in 1931, who set up the Commission to replace it.

Bust your balls – To joke with someone, but often used in a derogatory sense (as in, to humiliate / make fun of someone).

Buy – To bribe.  Also, “to grease.”

Call in – The act of ordering a made man to report to his superiors.

Case – To size something up before a criminal activity.  For example, “to case the joint.”

Caporegime – Also called captain, skipper, capo, “crew chief,” and capodecina.  They’re the leaders of groups of soldiers, called crew.  They have a fair amount of prestige within the family.

Code – The Mafia has a strict set of rules that they must follow.  Not following them is punishable by death.  The most famous one is the Omer or the code of silence.

 Commission – A ruling panel made up of the families.  They hold no real power, but their major functions are to restrict the use of violence and to deal with succession of bosses.  Also called Commissione and Cupola.

Compare – What made members of equal rank call each other.  Literally, “godfather.”

Connected – A Mafia associate is connected to the family.

Consigliere – Literally, the “counselor.”  He acts as the Boss’s advisor and settles disputes within the family.

Cosa Nostra“Our thing,” which is a term that members use to refer to the Mafia without using a specific name.  Now, it’s more of a proper name, capitalized and all.  It’s used in both the American and Sicilian Mafia.

Contract killing – A form of murder, where one party hires another to kill someone else.  It’s illegal.  The person hired may be an assassin or hitman, or an organization.  Also, a “hit” or “piece of work.”  Setting one up is called “on the spot.”

Crew – The soldiers who work under a capo.

Don – A traditional term of respect for males.  Sometimes used to refer to Mafia bosses.

Family – Also, clan, borgata, or cosche.  A group of non-blood-related individuals who are bound by loyalty and honor (ideally, at least) and work together in criminal endeavors.

Friend of ours – Or, alternatively, anything of “ours” is used to refer to the family.  If you’re actually talking about a friend, you would say “friend of mine.”

Great War of Europe – Another name for The War, The Great War, The World War, or, most commonly now, World War I.

Goodfella – Can be used to mean “a made man,” but this term also includes associates, who aren’t made.  Similar to “wiseguy.”

Kill – There are many other words for “to kill.”  Some include “pop,” “rub out,” “bump off,” “burn,” “clip,” “knock off,” “whack,” or “do up.”  “Whack” is the one used constantly in Goodfellas.

Hitman – An assassin.

Induction – Introduce an associate into the family as a made man.  Usually done with a ritual.  Also, “straighten out.”

Legit – A person who deals in legal businesses and has nothing to do with the underworld.  Also, “crumb” or “straight.”

Made Man – A man who was formally inducted into the family through a ritual.  They’re also called soldiers, goodfellas, wiseguys, and men of honor.  The last three names can be used to refer to associates too, though.  They must be of Italian descent.

MafiosiMembers of the Mafia.  Also “men of honor” (or its Italian, giovane d’onore), which can refer to both made members or associates.  Can also be called “goodfella” or “wiseguys,” but these also refer to associates.

Meeting – Usually to resolve or “straighten out” beef between members, among other reasons.  Also called “sit-down” or “table.”

Moonshine – Illegally-made alcohol.  Also called white lightning, mountain dew, or hooch.  Because it’s done in illegal stills, it can be rather odd tasting.

Mustache Pete – Used to refer to the older members of the Mafia, who had originated from Italy.  Younger members are called “Young Turks.”  The younger caporegimes often felt restricted by the Mustache Petes because of the latter’s determination to follow the old Sicilian ways, which include dealing only with the other Italian families.

Packing – to be armed with a concealed handgun.

Padrino – What a made member of lower rank would call a superior.  Literally, “godfather.”

Pentito – A turncoat of the family who informed the police.  Also a “stool pigeon.”  Informing others is called “ratting” out.

Prison – Many other terms are used.  “Joint,” “the can,” “the pen,” “up the river,” “the big house,” “the slammer,” and “stir” are used.  A person in prison is said to be “away.”

Prohibition – Starting from the 1840s and going into the 1920s, it’s the ban of alcoholic beverages by many churches.  An Amendment was created in the Constitution in Jan. 16, 1920 that legally banned sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol.  This led to an increase in organized crime.  The US repealed the Amendment with another in Dec. 5, 1933.

OmerThe code of silence.  Never turn to authorities for help, even when you’re the victim.  Doing so makes you a coward.

On the lam – To move secretly.  This usually refers to mobsters moving secretly from place to place to avoid arrest.

Racketeering – An illegal business.  The kind the Mafia take part in most often is protection racketeering in the form of protection from competition, from fraud, and from theft.  Basically, they demand money from clients and offer protection, but if the client doesn’t pay, they’ll cause the damage themselves.  Other forms and terms include booking, shying (loan sharking), and action.

Sicilian MafiaAlso known as the Cosa Nostra or “our thing,” the word “Mafia” is formally used strictly to refer to crime clans from Western Sicily and Palermo.  They started in the mid-nineteenth century.  More information on this page.

Sit-down – A meeting, to solve a “beef.”

Soldier – Also known as soldato, sgarrista, “button man,” a button, or “made man.”  They’re the lowest rank within the organization and are the main muscle.  A low-ranked soldier is called a picciotto.  To become a made man, they have to be sponsored by a senior in the organization.

Standup Guy – Someone who follows Omer even to his own detriment.

Territory – The land over which a family has power.  They’re usually negotiated between families, often with violence.

Underboss – The second in line, also called capo bastone or sotto capo.  He’ll succeed the Boss should anything happen to him.

War – Violent confrontation between underworld organizations.  Territorial disputes, etc.  Solving a dispute is “straightening them out.”  “Straighten out” also means to make someone, though.

Wop – derogatory Italian term.

Young Turk – The younger members of the Mafia who seek to expand. The opposite of a Mustache Pete.

Zio – Also, Zu.  It’s a term of respect and affection for a senior member in the underworld.

Zip – derogatory term for Mafia in the US.


(Please note that I really don’t know Italian and I’ve never studied it.  If I get something wrong, please point it out to me!)

Buongiorno – Good morning

Capo – Captain, Boss

Cazzo – Fuck, shit

Comandante – Commander

Don – (an honorable title.  No real translation … perhaps “Sir?”  In underworld, sometimes used to mean “Boss”)

Figlio di puttana – Son of a bitch

Porcone – Slut

Randagio – Stray (as in, “a stray dog”)

Schifoso – Filthy

Signora – Madam, Lady, Mrs. (more formal than signorina?)

Signor / Signore – Mister (I really don’t know what the different between these two are, but for now, Signor is used as in, “Mr. Del Monte” and Signore is used as in, “the mister standing over there.”)

Vaffanculo – Fuck


Cars that appear in Lucky Dog 1:

  • Alfa Romeo
  • Bugatti
  • Chevrolet
  • Fiat
  • Ford
  • Ford Model T-Turing
  • Mercedes
  • Pierce-Arrow



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Danielle Machado Da Costa
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 00:03:53

    Hi! Your italian dictionay looks neat, and thanks for all the info! Oh, but, just a little thing I: signora means madam, yes, but it has to be a married woman. Signorina is for single women only. Oh, and sometimes ‘signorinas’ get mad when they are called signoras because that also means that people think that you are old (enough to have a husband, at least haha)! :3 Thank you and, please continue with your translation! ^_^



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