The Mafia in America (2)


The Mafia has been called by various names.  For example, the people who belong to it never call it "The Mafia" (one reason is that it started as a secret criminal group.)

They might call it "La Cosa Nostra" - "This thing of ours" in Italian.
Or it was sometimes known as "The syndicate".  The media and the public often called it "The Mob" (a Mob is a large group of people who might get together for a bad purpose).

The Mafia has a code of silence ("Omerta") which means a member must never tell what happens inside the Mafia and about their activities.
However, when one of them is arrested and is facing a long prison sentence, he often tells the police everything he knows !

In fact, a fair number of Mafia members have written books telling about life in the Mob.  Sometimes a Mafia member (or"Mafiosi") is trapped by the police and agrees to give evidence against other Mafiosi in a court trial.
Such a pesron is called a "Rat" or "Squealer", and is hated by other members.

The Mafia is not as strong today because other Mafias (Russian, Chinese, Mexican, etc.) have become powerful recently, and expanded their territory.
But thanks to movies such as "Goodfellas" and TV shows such as "The Sopranos", Mafia bosses and killers still have popular image in America.                          (G.K)

英会話表現&英単語 その122
by various names                様々な名前で
criminal group                  犯罪グループ
known as 〜           〜として知られている
the public                      大衆
mob                             暴徒、悪い仲間
code of silence                 沈黙の掟
face a long prison sentence     長期の有罪判決に直面する
in fact                         実際
squeal                          キーキー悲鳴を上げる
not as strong today             (以前ほど)今日は強くない
territory                       領地、縄張り
thanks to 〜          〜のおかげで

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