What does the Italian word "coo-ka-looch" mean?
June 24, 2011 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Can someone tell me what this Italian term of endearment means? It phonetically is pronounced "coo-ka-looch"

Hello, my Italian Grandmother passed away a few years ago; when she was alive she used to call my sister and I, "her little cookalooches." I realize this isn't spelled correctly, but I never saw it in writing. No one in my family really knows what it meant in English. Lately, it's been bugging me. Does anyone have any idea what it could mean?
posted by jModug to Education (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Coccolone/coccolate would be my guess. Love the dual meaning.
posted by notquitemaryann at 7:24 PM on June 24, 2011

In French, curiously, the word coqueluche has two meanings, one being something loved and admired, and the other being whooping cough. Possibly the original idea comes from the idea of something being so popular it's contagious, I don't know. Obviously this isn't Italian but it's pronounced very much like your grandmother's word, so maybe she picked it up somewhere.
posted by zadcat at 7:26 PM on June 24, 2011

Best answer: The -uccia ending is an endearment (Carlo is Carluccio, Maria is Mariuccia). My best guess is that it has to do with the word "coccolare", which means to cuddle/snuggle (and the adjective form, coccolo/coccola). Cucculuccia (COO-ka-LOO-cha), which would approximate the Sicilian pronunciation of it, would mean "my cute/sweet little cuddly one". Which is a lovely thing to call your granddaughter.
posted by katemonster at 7:26 PM on June 24, 2011 [20 favorites]

I second katemonster. Coccola or coccolo to which a diminutive is added to make coccoluccio and coccoluccia. Little cuddly one.
posted by francesca too at 9:27 PM on June 24, 2011

Another vote for katemonster's explanation (native Italian speaker here) I've never personally heard 'coccoluccia' itself (more frequently "coccolino/a") but it totally makes sense, and there are a few hits on google Italian, people using it in exactly that sense. Or as a cute diminutive of "coccola" as a noun, as in, "a few wee cuddles" - "qualche coccoluccia".
posted by bitteschoen at 5:57 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you for asking this before I did. My Italian-American Dad used this all the time growing up. I think he called us smart little coo-ca-looches.
posted by JohntheContrarian at 1:36 PM on June 25, 2011

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