Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 20:42:34 -0400 From: Gregory {Greg} Downing Subject: Re: Agita Forgot to mention, for those who might not know -- Italian acido is pronounced ah-chee-doh, accent on the first syllable. Italian immigrants to NYC, being largely from southern Italy, used regional Italian pronunciations that were also soon altered by the influence of English when only an occasional Italian word was being used. The first intervocalic consonant would be voiced not voiceless (thus becoming something that would be written "g" in English), the middle vowel was anglicized into the English i in "bit," and the final vowel became a schwa. So Italian "ah-chee-doh" became Italian-American, with a pronunication something like "ah-jih-duh" (hence the spelling "agita" given in the query). That's how my wife's grandmother pronounced it, and both her parents were native speakers of Italian who'd married near Benevento and lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (Oliver Street, later Catherine Street) in the first quarter of the 20th century. I imagine the idea of being agitated was involved in the semantic and phonetic development of acido into "agita" (or whatever the "proper" spelling of it is), as the sound and sense of acido ( = worry/annoyance) and agita(tion) interacted. Greg Downing/NYU greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]