That’s Not A Word

Me & Matt

I’ve been with Matt for nearly 17 years and he never commented on this until today and neither has anyone else I’ve spoken to.  I mentioned to him that something stressing me out was giving me “agina.”  To which he finally replied, “That’s not a word.”

“Yes, it is,” I insisted.

“Nope, it’s agita.”

After a brief debate we searched for the answer online and the Google Gods proclaimed that agita is in fact a word for heartburn while agina is a word for nothing, unless I mean angina, which I don’t.  But I insisted: “Well, that’s not what I mean.  I don’t have heartburn.  This is giving me agina: an overall feeling of anxiousness.  It must be Italian.”

While not true, this seemed a plausible answer as my Italian-American family does use a number of random Italian words.  “Moosha moosh” describes when you just don’t feel great.  You are still willing to eat, but then you’ll want to lie down.  We say “Madone” which is the Italian swearword I know best.  And though every other Italian uses pizzelle to describe a sugar dusted, lace-like cookie my family uses the term to describe fried dough.  As a kid growing up we would have pizzelles for dinner with sauce and cheese followed by pizzelles with sugar for dessert.

According to Urban Dictionary “agida” is an Italian slang term for heartburn or can refer to mental aggravation.  At this point, I’m pretty sure Matt is right.  But I’m going to stick with agina.  I may have made it up, but I like it and it has a very specific meaning to me. 

Can’t Wait to Read More

An oldie but a goodie and a tribute to Matt

Plank Story: Matt’s birthday nap.

Plank Story: Afternoon Tea

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About the Author:

Maggie Downie
Thank you for giving your time to stop and read my blog. I hope it encourages you to keep moving. Move and the body will be happier. And when you're moving you can hike, run, swim in Jell-O, race over non-Newtonian fluids, travel the world or build igloos--if that's your thing. If not, you can watch me do it. This is just a spot to try and feel good about life.


  1. Charlotte September 10, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Love this post. Brought back memories.
    While my dad did complain that he got “agita” very often due to an ulcer, he also would always say that something made him “SHKOTT” inside. That meant twisted his insides with stress. I still haven’t found the Italian word for that , but am thinking the spelling must be more like schiatta or something.

    Thanks for the memories!

    • Maggie Downie
      Maggie Downie September 11, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Shkott!!! I love it. One word that means “twisted his insides with stress”! That is quite a concept to portray! I’m gonna use it!

  2. Deborah Bax September 10, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Agida is correct…..but please continue to make up words. This is not the first word you’ve made up, and I’m certain it will not be your last….Soon we will need a “Downie Dictionary”. Great idea for your next book.

  3. Jeanette September 10, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

    It IS a word… a Latin word that does not mean what you meant, but it is a word! 🙂

  4. Jeanne D Miner September 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Remember, there’s official Italian (basically Tuscan), and also MANY dialects. And what my family calls zeppole is nothing le what they serve at the Big E.

    • Maggie Downie
      Maggie Downie September 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      It is so true! Changes in dialect even in places close to each other.

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