Blogs > Liberty and Power > Fuhgeddaboudit!

Mar 10, 2004 10:55 am


The Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, is a bit of a comedian. Since he took office, signs have been springing up all over my hometown. When you come off a city bridge, say, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge linking Brooklyn to Staten Island, you are greeted with"Welcome to Brooklyn" signs that feature classic"Brooklyn" expressions, like"How Sweet It Is" (for the uncultured, that slogan was coined by the Great One: Jackie Gleason).

But if you happen to have the misfortune of leaving Brooklyn, you see other signs:"Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit." (And for an education on the meaning of the phrase, consult the film"Donnie Brasco.") It seems, however, that some Italian Americans are pissed off, since they consider the phrase an Italian slur. A similar sign saying"Oy Vey" was apparently, uh, Passed Over ... because some thought it might offend some Jewish residents. (Markowitz, who is Jewish, thought the"Oy Vey" sign would have been a terrific idea. Bravo!)

Sometimes the PC-minded police tap dance on my last nerve. So, for the hearing of the world: I am Half-Sicilian and Half-Greek, and a life-long Brooklyn resident, and I like the signs that say"Fuhgeddaboudit." I must use that expression 300 times a day.

You got a problem wit dat?

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