Posted by: gurglin | October 11, 2012

A country of «coattos»

«Coatto» is one of the most beautiful and meaningful words in the Roman language. It comes from Latin past participle «coactus», meaning «forced», «constrained». Generally, it labels people living in the outskirts of Rome, normally considered vulgar, uncivil and arrogant homunculuses. However, more recently the term has been associated to «posh posers», so that currently «coatto» can be translated in English with the expression «rude, high-handed, conceited fashion victim».

Nowadays – regardless of his/her geographical origins – a «coatto» above all:

• keeps on making a huge (mis)use of English words in any context, especially out of context, because he/she has to show off (he/she can’t help it!), but also because his/her Italian is quite poor;
• changes cell phone every year (99 cases out 100 chooses an iPhone);
• LURVES Apple products! He/she NEEDS them! He/she says they are well-refined, they are cool and fashion, but the reality is he/she MUST have all of the most recent Apple releases! Just for showing off he/she has them!
• wears dark glasses even with a cloudy weather;
• is a salsa dancer;
• just listens to hit-parade music;
• goes around in SUV, even if had to sell the house for buying one;
• if he/she cannot buy a SUV, a Smart is the perfect solution, so that he/she can make all the more unbelievable road traffic offences

«Coattos» are cheap people, but of course there also are some gender-based differences:

• men: they dye the hair, always are perfectly shaved and wear a tie even at the seaside;
• women: they show off their flesh as much as they can (mainly with plunging necklines and belt-skirts up at the crotch) and wear high heel shoes also for going to the supermarket.

In other words, a «coatto» is a slave of fashion and trends, a self-constriction produce which destroys the dignity of a human being, to make pure standardized vulgarity out of it.


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