If you’ve been reading this site for long enough, you’ve probably noticed that we have a few linguistic idiosyncrasies, a few metaphors that don’t seem to fit in, a few downright weird things that we keep on saying. If you’re a newcomer, it can be a little bit confusing. That’s why we’re going to start putting together the Viola Nation lexicon in an attempt to set down the definitions and etymologies of some of our favorite things. I’ve tried to stick with things that are more generally-used expressions around here rather than personal catchphrases.
The Cheese: Riccardo Saponara
Source: When Empoli loaned Saponara with an option for Fiorentina to buy him, the Azzurri fans were pretty ticked off. So ticked off, in fact, that they broke into the club president’s garage and trashed his cars. They also spray-painted a bunch of grouchy slogans on the walls around their stadium. With a perfect Tuscan irony, the Viola fans responded with a banner of their own that said, “the mouse that doesn’t get the cheese complains it stinks,” which Catalogue pointed out to us.
Choo-choo/trains: former Viola midfielder Houssine Kharja
Source: Kharja was famously fined by the club for thrice weekly train trips to Milan—leading to skipped practice session—so that he could visit family, as documented by someone way back in the mists of time here
Gastroentereschi: former Viola winger Federico Bernardeschi
Source: the Viola youth product suddenly encountered “stomach problems” when called for preseason training 2017 as he tried to force a move to Juventus; don’t think any of us came up with this one, but dang if we didn’t run with it; see also Merdadeschi
Johnny Squared: former Viola winger Juan Cuadrado
Source: it’s his name kind of poorly translated from Spanish to English
Lurch: Josip Iličić
Nutella Boy: Adem Ljajić
Source: Siniša Mihajlović questioned the then-20-year-old winger’s conditioning back in 2012, accusing the youngster of eating the delicious hazelnut/chocolate spread and spending too much time on his Playstation
Octavio: any person or situation which is invisible, absent, or impossible to prove in the positive
Source: Brazilian attacking midfielder Octávio Merlo Manteca joined Fiorentina on loan from Botafogo in 2014. He never made an appearance. We never saw him. He may not have existed. Not sure who started this one, but it feels like a Mike-R special. See also: Hernán Toledo.
Dumutru effect: late in the season, teams in or around the relegation zone tend to become very hard to beat as they dig in to avoid the drop, often leading to surprising results against sides higher in the table; similarly, teams that are safe from relegation but well outside the European places sometimes drift into complacency, making them relatively toothless opponents
Source: longtime commenter Dumutru
Blind Guess Department: the attempt of whoever’s writing a match preview to predict the score and goalscorer; always features Fiorentina winning by a score of 2-0 or 2-1, or occasionally drawing 1-1
Source: early VN boss Ted always finished his match previews with this little nugget, although the Blind Guess Department was actually what he dubbed his attempt to name the starting lineups for both teams
Newcastle Junior: Juventus
Source: slakas (?) started calling them this out of a refusal to write their name on the website due to their resemblance to Newcastle, who wear a similar kit to Notts County, who originally inspired the Juvenuts’ shirts (we’ve never been a Point A to Point B kind of outfit here)
Poggibonsi: a lovely little town in Tuscany about 27 km northwest of Siena and 40 km south of Florence that is home to Serie D outfit Unione Sportivo Poggibonsi (the Leoni or the Giallorossi)
Source: during one of our rare doom-and-gloom moments, Mike-R wrote a very long and heartfelt post about why he would from then on be supporting Poggibonsi; now the go-to response to any wildly negative overreaction
Purple bong: I mean, are you cool, man?
Source: I don’t remember who started this one either, but it’s the standard response to anyone who’s making wildly optimistic predictions; for example, were someone to explain why Gabriele Gori is going to score 30 goals for Fiorentina next season, the natural response would be “pass the purple bong, please”