With all the talk of Berlusconi’s imminent fall, the Italian media often mentions the so-called frondisti (the rebels in the Berlusconi coalition) and the malpancisti (literally, those who suffer from stomach aches).
The frondisti take their name from the frondeurs of 17th-century France: the Parisian mobs who used slings (fronde in Italian, frondes in French) to hurl stones and other missiles “to smash the windows of supporters of Cardinal Mazarin,” minister to the French monarch (above, left).
“In 1644, Mazarin tried to prevent [the city of Paris from] growing further and to raise taxes by fining those who built houses outside the City Walls. This policy produced widespread resentment. The Fronde began in January 1648, when the Paris mob used children’s slings, frondes, to hurl stones at the windows of Mazarin’s associates.” (From the Wiki.)
An early documented use of malpancista dates back to 2004. It refers to members of a political alignment who express dissent or disagreement. Their “stomach ache” belies a change of heart (heartburn?).
As Italian journalist Aldo Grasso recently noted, a stomach ache is generally relieved by a visit to the toilet.
My advice to Berlusconi? Vai a cagare…