we talk about someone who is not tall, thin, dancing,
funny: "He looks like'Scicchegnacco int'
'a butteglia". You may think about the liqueur
bottles and the stuff that float inside of them.
It is not right. This expression makes reference
to the so called 'Cartesio devil'. The important
French philosopher and mathematician invented
a device capable to fix the different conditions
of an object dip in a fluid. It was usually a
glass vessel almost full of water and closed in
a membrane. In the water a glass object - hollow
with a hole outside -was put. When somebody pushed
the membrane, water penetrated in the small devil
and therefore it comprimeva the water it contained.
The weight of the tiny devil growed and it went
down on the bottom, then it climbed up and so
it could dance. This is the 'scicchegnacco'. Why
has it this name? This word is referred to expressions
as 'nicchinocco=little milord', 'niccinonno' (it
is the same), and above all to the Spanish 'niquenaque';
this words have got a strong disappreciating meaning
. The word 'naque' does indeed mean 'a lot of
unnecessary and ridiculous things'.