Mafia Inc.: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada's Sicilian Clan - André Cédilot, André Noël (2011)


ASSOCIATE: Someone who works for a Mafia family but is not a “made” member of it.

CAMORRA: The name given to the Mafia of Naples, Italy.

CAMPIERO (PLURAL CAMPIERI): An armed guard hired by a rich landowner in feudal Sicily. See Gabelloto.

CAPO: The head of a Mafia family; also “boss,” “don,” “godfather.”

CAPODECINA (ALSO CAPOREGIME): The chief or captain of a group of soldiers in a Mafia family; also called a lieutenant.

CARABINIERE (PLURAL CARABINIERI): A member of Italy’s Corps of Carabiniers, the national police force.

COMMISSION: The highest decision-making body of the American Cosa Nostra, encompassing the so-called Five Families of New York and Mafia families in other U.S. cities (compare Cupola).

CONSIGLIERE: The chief adviser to the head of a Mafia family.

COSA NOSTRA: Literally, “this thing of ours”; another name for the Mafia in Sicily and the United States.

CUPOLA: The highest decision-making body of the Sicilian Mafia.

DECINA: A team of ten or more soldiers in a Mafia family.

GABELLOTO (PLURAL GABELLOTI): The leaseholder of a large estate in feudal Sicily. See Campiero.

MAFIA: Another name for the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and, by extension, any Italian organized crime group. Without the capital M, the word has come to mean any similar criminal organization, regardless of its culture of origin.

MAFIOSO (PLURAL MAFIOSI; ALSO “MADE MAN,” “GOODFELLA”): A formally inducted member of a Mafia family.

’NDRANGHETA: The name given to the Mafia of Calabria, a province in southern Italy.

OMERTÀ: A code of conduct imposed on Mafia members, which includes remaining silent about the organization’s activities and never co-operating with police.

PENTITO (PLURAL PENTITI): Literally, “penitent.” The name given to a Mafia informant in Italy.

PICCIOTTO (PLURAL PICCIOTTI): A soldier in a Mafia family.

PIZZO: Tribute or “protection” money paid to the Mafia by a business.

SOTTO CAPO (UNDERBOSS): The second-in-command of a Mafia family.

VENDETTA: Literally, “vengeance”; the word is also used to describe an extended conflict between two Mafia clans.

ZIO: “Uncle” in Italian. Used as a sign of respect toward senior mafiosi.