Borrowing from Italian capisce, the third-person singular present indicative form of capire (“to understand”), through Vulgar Latin *capīre from Latin capere (“to grasp, seize”), from Proto-Italic *kapiō, from Proto-Indo-European *kh₂pyéti, from the root *keh₂p- (“to grab, to seize”).
- (slang) “Get it?”; “understood?”.2
- Brodka: Hey, kid: one more thing. If you ever set foot in this store again, you'll be spending Christmas in juvenile hall. Capisce?
- Bart: [silence]
- Brodka: Well, do you understand?
- Bart: Everything except “capisce.”
1997, Eric Bogosian, Notes from Underground, page 138:
- It's very simple, George, you forget about this whole licensing lawsuit pipe dream of yours or you can forget about your buddy working in my factory for the next couple of years. I will be that angry. Capiche?
2003, Richard Chiappone, Water of an Undetermined Depth:
- I mean, if you were coming into the plant for the long haul, God forbid, then you'd have to think seriously about the money. Capiche?
- Often used in a threatening manner, in imitation of the way the Italian Mafia is often portrayed in popular culture and entertainment media.
- Without a question mark at the end, it is sometimes used to mean, “I understand”, as an American colloquialism. In Italian, that would actually mean “he/she/it understands” or a formal “you understand”. To mean “I understand”, one would actually say capisco.