A woman on Story Corps remembered going shopping for a colander with her Italian grandmother (who spoke no English) as a little girl. The old woman circled and circled the store looking before she finally went to the man behind the counter. Frustrated, she said, “macaroni stoppa, water gawhead.” The owner knew exactly what she meant and got her one.
This list is terrific. My parents were laughing at how many they used to hear. I’m sad that that older generation is dying off, but some of these phrases will never die.