8 junio, 2024

Capichi: what it is, origin, meaning and examples

What is capichi?

capichi is the Spanish pronunciation of the Italian word capisci. Strictly speaking, it does not exist, since capichi is the phonetic pronunciation and adapted to Spanish (and English).

For specialists, capichi is not only misspelled, but also indicates the wrong pronunciation of the word, since the union of the letters «s» and «c» in capisci, produce the sound “sh”. Therefore, it should be said “capishi”.

The point is that capichi slipped into popular culture thanks to cinema and television, where numerous films and series of the Italian mafia and that criminal underworld idealized by Hollywood have been exposed. Sometimes, too, as a parody.

Likewise, it has been used as a basis for the creation of memes, which have been widely disseminated through social networks and the digital environment.

Origin of the expression capichi

As is often the case with many widely used words and expressions, it is difficult to find a precise point that indicates the appearance of the word. However, some Internet users affirm that its diffusion began thanks to the Francis Ford Coppola film, The Godfather (The Godfather), from 1972.

In general terms, the production focuses on the dynamics present in a family group of Italian descent living in the United States and which, in addition, is a criminal organization. Therefore, the vast majority of the characters communicate in Italian.

capisci It is one of the most pronounced words during the movie, so it became popular for fans and followers of this film.

In fact, the influence of this feature film was such that its morphology was changed to «capichi» to quickly spread to the rest of the world.


In a strict sense, capichi does not exist, since it is a phonetic pronunciation of the Italian word capisci.

etymologically, capisci is the conjugation of capirewhich in turn has as its root the Latin expression capere, and whose meaning is “to understand” or “to understand”. Therefore, the expression can be translated as “you understood”.

Also, since it is a verb, there are many ways to conjugate it depending on the tenses and the context in which the sentence is found.

Capichi, memes and other productions

It is possible to observe the impact of the word through its appearance in different audiovisual productions. It should be noted that most of these have a strong humorous inclination, characterized mainly by mocking the environment of the Italian mafia.

At this point, some examples of the appearance of capichi in memes and other materials that continue to spread in the digital environment can be described:

– Appears in a fragment of the film Monster Incduring the encounter between Mike and Randall as they discuss giving up Boo.

– In an episode of The Simpson, Bart is rebuked by a security guard in an intimidating way. However, it is worth mentioning that the guard’s pronunciation is correct, despite the fact that Bart understood it as «capich».

– The word is also usually accompanied by the face of Marlon Brando, in his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather.

– It is also common to observe the conjugation of the word with other symbols related to Italy, such as pizza, and even important figures from that country.

– Unlike the previous cases, other memes that can be found are taken from movie fragments where a character seems to be explaining a point. The truth is that it is extracted from that context to produce humorous material.


The examples presented below refer to the correct spelling of the word:

– “E gli piace Jules Verne, capisci?” / «And he really likes Jules Verne, do you understand?»

– “Per farlo I will sow affection, capisi?” / “To make it look good, you know?”

– “María… what is happening?” / «María, do you understand what is happening?»

– “Continua to think purely that I am responsible for the explosion, what this means, capisci…” / “You are going to spend the day thinking that I am responsible for the explosion, that is, you know…”.

– “Perché, capisci, é pericoloso andare la fuori” / “Because, you know, it’s dangerous to be out there”.

– “A volte capisci qualcuno solo cosi” / “Sometimes it is the best way to get to know a person”.

Other examples

There are more examples of how «capisci» can be conjugated in different ways:

– “Non capisco perché” / “I don’t understand why”.

– “Scegliamo un linguaggio che las gente capisca” / “We choose a language that people understand”.

– “Voglio essere certa che loro mi abbiano capita” / “I want to be sure that they have understood me”.

– “In questo momento lui sta capendo il calcio italiano” / “At this moment he is understanding Italian football”.

– “Serebbe bello se il pubblico ci capisse” / “It would be nice if the public understood us”.

– “Sei abbastanza grande per capire” / “You are old enough to understand”.

italian idioms

Below is a series of words and expressions used in everyday Italian language:

– “Cavoli amari”: it is an expression whose literal translation is “bitter cabbages”, however, it alludes to the fact that a person is very close to getting into trouble.

– “Che cavolo”: it is a way of saying “damn it”, but it is usually replaced by more vulgar and strong phrases.

– “Col cavolo”: means “by no means”, so it denotes a lack of interest in intervening in a situation.

– “Un carnaio”: is a term that comes from “meat” and refers to the fact that a place is full of people.

– “Che pizza!”: unlike what you might think at first, the expression has nothing to do with food, but rather that the situation is being boring or that something unpleasant is happening.

– “En un boccal lupo”: literally means “in the lion’s den” and is an expression used to wish a person good luck.

– “Cercare me peli nell’uovo”: translates as “look for hairs in the egg”. It refers to a person being either demanding or fussy.

– “Avere un diavolo per capello”: serves to describe that you are very upset. Its equivalent in Spanish can be «echando fumo».

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