The Swedish band also Abba may have made the expression popular around the human being, but Italians have been making use of Mamma mia! as a mild expression of surprise, joy, annoyance, disappointment, anger and are afraid for years. It can translate in countless means in English consisting of Oh my goodness! Wow! and Oh man! to name a couple of.

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Mamma mia, che bello!

Oh my goodness, how nice!

Mamma mia, che delusione!

Oh my goodness, what a disappointment!

Also composed as one word mammamia, it is the combicountry of the words mamma (definition ‘mother‘ or ‘mom‘) and also mia (the feminine possessive adjective ‘my‘), so it literally suggests my mother.

Be mindful though, bereason if you actually desire to say “my mom” in Italian, you must switch the word order around: mia mamma.

Mamma mia, mia mamma è tornata a casa davvero tardi!

My goodness, my mother got home really late!

In particular situations, Mamma mia! deserve to be an intensifier provided in order to agree with or tension somepoint. For example:

Guarda che bello che è quel palazzo! – Mamma mia!

Look at just how beautiful that palace is! – Tell me about it!

Keep in mind that occasionally Mamma mia! is shortened to Mamma! or Oh mamma! (Oh mom!)


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Mamma mia, che bello! Riesco a vedere mio nipote! – Oh my goodness, just how wonderful! I have the right to see my grandchild!

If you were hoping for an interesting origin story for Mamma Mia!, we have some bad news – tright here isn’t one! But we have the right to assume that it stems from the prominence of the mother figure in culture and also religion. After all, our mom is not only our main resource of affection (affetto) yet also our safe haven (porto sicuro) in which we take refuge from uncertainty and misfortune.

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