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This Simple Question About What Maltese People Call Sneakers Triggered A 500-Comment Shitstorm

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What do you call shoes that are a bit sporty? Trainers? Runners? Sneakers? Well, a question that simple seemed to have people a whole lot, with over 500 comments flooding a thread that quickly devolved into name-calling.

“Is it a thing in Malta to call trainers or sneakers slippers?” one user innocently asked in the mega Facebook forum The Salott.

The short answer is yes. For some weird reason, many Maltese people have grown up referring to sneakers as slippers, and actual slippers as… well, papoċċ (because we felt like there wasn’t a word for it).

But while the answer may seem straight-forward enough, getting to the bottom of why, how and who resulted in a days-long tirade.

I'm a masochist; I see 599 comments, and I click.

I'm a masochist; I see 599 comments, and I click.

“Yes, welcome to Malta, we apologise,” one comment read, with many echoing the sentiment and hilariously apologising for the weird choice of words.

Meanwhile, others offered more unique Maltisms, from pronouncing “Rachael” much like “racial” to somehow calling a pencil case a pocket. And yes, I know you’re nodding and laughing nervously at that last one, because so was I.

“I can’t stand it,” one person vented. “Living in Gozo had never heard it until I met some Maltese people. For me slipper is what you wear at home.” Of course, people were ready for her, with one person bluntly replying, “dak papoċċ“.

The most mind-boggling comment of them all? “My mom calls them stripper”, which was actually seconded by some people. What.

“At least we don’t call flip-flops, thongs,” another said. Now you’re just riffing my dude.

It was of course only a matter, however, until even something as simple as a shoe ended up dividing Malta and bringing class to the equation.

“Ħamalli version yes,” one person said, going on to associate “slipper” with some of the island’s more… creative names, like Xaznaya.

“Don’t judge,” another comment quickly replied. “I say slipper and don’t consider myself a ħamalla. And am not a ħamalla.”

“On the other hand, you’re a kiesħa and judgemental,” the comment finished…. judging the original poster. Hmm.

You can pretty much imagine what happened next, with more of the same ending up in dozens of other comments, to the point that some legit forgot what the actual question was.

“Trainers, slippers, pappoċċ… say it however you want and let everyone live their life,” a diplomatic user interjected, bringing the end to that thread, but no doubt leaving scores of others still fighting over who’s right.

What do you call sneakers? Tag someone who definitely calls them slippers.

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