Folk Traditions: The Fish Monger



[Excited words of fish hawkers when there’s a good haul of fish, such as: “get them while they’re fresh! Whoever gets these is lucky! What a price today! The first gets the best! Etc.]

S’arricuggheru li beddri pisci frischi! S’arricuggheru….. Oh, chi sardi di maravigghia! La sarduzza tennira! Curriti! Curriti! Chi beddri vopi e sirci e calamari !….Mirluzzi di palangaru! Chi sauri vivi, vivi!

Curriti tutti e scartati ‘nta lu beni. Cu’ arriva primu si li mangia! Affurtunatu cu’ c’arriva! Va pigghiativilli! Chi prezzu ‘nterra sta jurnata! Lu sentiti lu ciauru di lu mari? Frischi, frischi su!

‘Natru chilu cci ‘nne, Jnatru chilu sulu!… Miatu cu’ arriva primo e li trova! Oh, chi pena pi cu’ c’arriva l’urtimu!

Li beddri pisci, vivi vivi su!. Prestu! Prestu! Chi lu pisciaru si ‘nni sta ghiennu. S’un curriti ‘nu lu trovati cchiu. Pisci vivi! Vivi!!


The Hawking of the Fish


Beautiful fresh fish have arrived! They have arrived!…….

Oh what wonderful sardines! Tender little sardines!

Run (everyone)! Run! What beautiful “vopi” ( a type of fish), sea urchins and squid!

Whiting (caught by the palangaru nets)! What sauri (a type of fish) (which are )

Practically alive !

Run everyone and choose from all the goodness….whoever arrives first will (get to) eat them! Fortunate whoever gets here (first)!

Come get them! What a (bargain) today! Can you smell the aroma of the sea? They are fresh fish! There’s one more kilo, one kilo left! Lucky whoever arrives first to find them!

Oh how sad for whoever arrives last! These beautiful fish, they’re practically alive. Hurry! Hurry! The fishmonger is leaving…if you don’t run you won’t find any more….fish (that are so fresh they are) practically alive!

(Translation: Annette Chiappetta Rovello).

[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: ]