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So I recently watched The Godfather... goombah


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I had forgotten that goombah was in the movie and of course most of us know it as a dangerous walking mushroom, but there is a connection 🙂


The earliest sense found in English is ‘a friend or associate’. This is first found in the mid 1950s, and seems to have been popularized by Rocky Graziano . . The second, and most familiar, sense is ‘a mafia boss; a mafioso’, or broadly ‘any organized crime figure’. The first known use of this sense is in Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel The Godfather, the origin, of course, of the movie: [Hollywood producer Jack Woltz tells Ed Hagen:] “I don’t care how many guinea Mafia goombahs come out of the woodwork.” Finally, the English-only sense is ‘a stupid person’, first found in the 1950s but not common until the 1980s. This is presumably based on stereotyped portrayals of low-level mafiosi as ignorant, loutish types.

The SMB goombahs are Bower's henchmen and thus I assume fall into the "any organized crime figure" (hitmen...shrooms) types. Although, they are rather stupid too.

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Story time. When I was young, my father used to allegedly get angry at my brother and I for talking gibberish words. Later after looking through a game guide or a box or something, he realised that my brother and I weren't speaking nonsense when we were talking about koopas and goombas.

The story is even funnier to me now, seeing as how we also have words goombah and Japanese have kappa.

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From my experiences and basically all of my family on both sides. “Koumbaro” is a term a lot of people use in New York, particularly with Greek and other Mediterranean vendors.

The word is also Greek for “Godfather” and in NYC It’s used like this:

“Hey Koumbaro, let me get a shishkabob with lemon and hot sauce.”

Now put a heavy New York accent on it and it sounds like “Goom bado”

New York being a mixing pot and all, the word might have shifted around here and there and voila, Goomba becomes a term used as the way mentioned in the above article.

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