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The origin of “Gabibbo”

Surely you know the fat big red puppet that appears in the satirical television news programme “Striscia la Notizia”.  But maybe you don’t know what’s the origin of its name.

Gabibbo is a word of Arabic origin which spread originally in Sicily when muslims invaded some Italian ports. It derives from “habib” that means “loved” or “friend, partner”.  The word with time reached the north of Italy and took on the meaning of  “fair-weather friend”, used disparagingly for muslims first and later for Italian southerners.

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