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Q: Definition and correct spelling of word "agida" ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Definition and correct spelling of word "agida"
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: chickiesue-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 18 Jun 2004 07:39 PDT
Expires: 18 Jul 2004 07:39 PDT
Question ID: 362923
Many people use this word, but I can't find it in any dictionary. 
Maybe I don't have the correct spelling.  Maybe it's an ethnic word? 
It seems to mean aggrivation, irritation, agitation.  Example- I'm
feeling a lot of agida because of the disorder in my office.
Subject: Re: Definition and correct spelling of word "agida"
Answered By: voila-ga on 18 Jun 2004 08:38 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello chickiesue,

I had to do some investigation on this word a number of years ago when 
I was doing some medical editing for a clinic in New Jersey.  Patients 
would come in complaining of this and I had to run down a correct 
spelling.  It is a bit of Italian-American slang for heartburn or 
dyspepsia but it can also mean mental aggravation.

Agita: Heartburn, acid indigestion, an upset stomach or, by extension, 
a general feeling of upset. The word is Italian-American slang derived 
from the Italian "agitare" meaning "to agitate.

"Agita" (but I think more correctly "agida") is Italian-American slang,
so it may not make it into any traditional Italian dictionaries. 
You'll find it in print occasionally, and in American TV and movies, 
but I guess it's not in common enough usage in the U.S. to make it 
into American English dictionaries. Found a bit of speculation from a 
professor in the Department of Italian at NYU -- he thinks it may 
derive from the Italian word "acidita," which means acidity -- as in 
the stomach upset and heartburn you get from being stressed and 
annoyed -- e.g., agida. Found an article about one of the stars of The 
Sopranos who's working on a new movie about feuding pizza parlor 
owners. The title: "Agida." ...

In Italy you will more likely hear "acidita'" - acidity."

I had been spelling it with a 't' taken from "agitate" rather than the 
"d" in acidity until I found that conversation.  The "agida" spelling 
seems to be more correct.  Neither spelling has found its way into 
American English dictionaries but with the popularity of HBO's "The 
Sopranos," it very well could.

"Some words of the Sopranos' jargon are by now acquired to American 
English "agida" meaning restless, angry, "capo," the clan boss, 
"cugine," a mafia apprentice, "goomba" and "gomah," meaning compare 
and comare, that is Italian American men and women.

From the Word Detective:

"Agita" is not a standard Italian word, and linguists are not certain 
where came from. One possible source is the Italian word "agitare" 
("to agitate" or "to trouble"), which in turn came from the Latin 
"agitare," which meant "to stir up." To be "agitato" in Italy is to be 
very excited, and a musical score marked "agitato" is intended to be 
played at a frenzied pace. But it's also possible that the source is 
"acido" (pronounced "AH-chee-do"), Italian for "stomach acid," which 
then possibly became "agita" ("AH-jih-ta") over time. Whatever the 
source, "agita" seems to have arrived in New York with Italian 
immigrants around the turn of the century, and has been in constant 
use, especially in places like New York City, ever since.

From Google Smackdown:

And the undisputed champion is...

agita (62,700)
agida (1,020)

It may be up to the linguists on which particular spelling makes into 
our Webster's.  I hope this information is helpful in drawing your own 
conclusion which spelling you prefer.  In the meantime, can I interest 
you in some chamomile or peppermint tea? ;-)

Thanks for the fun question today!
chickiesue-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Fantastic!  I thought it could be Polish as are the two people I know
who use it most often.  Everyone seems to know what it means, though. 

Subject: Re: Definition and correct spelling of word "agida"
From: voila-ga on 18 Jun 2004 09:49 PDT
Hey, thanks for the 5 stars and tip.  Personally, I'm going with the
"agida" spelling from now on.  On a 'share' note, my problem has been
under control ever since I started working from home.  Just think ...
telecommuting... it could put the Prilosec people right out of
business and I hope we all get that chance!

Best of luck,

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