The Italian elbow game

This is a game I usually play in Italian restaurants, to check if the staff are authentic Italians. It's dead easy to play: all you need to do is to challenge them to say the word elbow in Italian.

The following conversations happened on Saturday evening:

Me [pointing dramatically at my elbow]: What's the Italian for elbow?
Head waitress: Gomito.
Me: That's right!
Head waitress: I know.

(A short while later.)

Me [pointing dramatically at my elbow]: What's the Italian for elbow?
Other waitress: I don't know, I'm Polish.
Me: I meant, what's the Polish for elbow?
Polish waitress: Łokieć.
Me: That's right!

Just doing my bit for international relations after all that nasty Farage nonsense.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Having a meal in an Italian restaurant in Bournemouth (now a surf bar....not that there's much surf here) we were served by a waiter who spoke to us in pigeon English.
    As we left, he was outside on his mobile and (you guessed it) Sarf Lundin accent. As we said goodbye he started to reply in his normal accent before stopping and sayig arrivederci.

  2. Two questions:

    1) In how many languages can you now say the word for "elbow"?
    2) Wouldn't it be a better investment of time to learn the word for "beer"?

  3. 1) I now know the word elbow in four languages: English, Italian, Polish and Latin (cubitus). Ah! the benefits of a classical education!

    2) I'm pretty sure ‘beer’ is the same in all languages.

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