32 - Battilocchio

Episode XXXII


(bat – tee – LOK – kee – oh)

The term battilocchio refers to someone who looks absent-minded, a simpleton who is not entirely able to grasp what is going on. The word comes from the French battant-l’oeil, which was a bonnet women wore, whose brims could lay on the eyes: then just like a maiden with the battant-l’oeil on her head and eyes, by analogy, the battilocchio is someone who can’t see clearly, figuratively.

Another mild insult of neapolitan tradition, this is particularly reknown, as in one of the most famous neapolitan comedies, Miseria e Nobiltà (Misery and Nobility), it is used in one of the final scenes with great effect (ma voi che pezzo di battilocchio siete? = “what a piece of battilocchio are you?”).




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