Tommy's mother speaks about her childhood days:

Mother: When we were kids, the compares used to visit each other. There was this man. He would never talk. He'd just sit there all night.

What does "compares" mean?

  • collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/italian-english/compare which I found by using google.com/search?q=italian+compare . I don't understand why two people upvoted a question that could have been solved by a simple Google search.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 8:16
  • @BCdotWEB that link does not provide a good definition, it lists three related Italian words, but doesn't illuminate which one best fits this context. This is a good question.
    – Mike
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:04
  • @Mike In context (as in: looking at the whole dialogue, not just the sentences excerpted here) it is clear that it is used as a synonym for "friend". The two other options are not logical: it cannot be "godfather" (due to the context beyond the sentences quoted above) and it cannot be "accomplice" because that is a criminal term. See also mafiatrickster.tripod.com/kikai/mafiaslang.html . Related: etymonline.com/word/compadre .
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


I know some people like to write lengthy dissertations for answers, but in this case it's simply one word (or two): Friend. In some dialects it could also mean "Godfather", and it's really unclear in this scene which definition Tommy's mother is using. Godfathers can be friends with each other, but it's kind of strange (though not unheard of) that she would use an Italian word for "friends" in this sentence. As a result, I'd probably assume she's talking about the neighborhood Godfathers.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .