We all know how much Maltese people have a tendency to stereotype, so it comes as no surprise that practically every town and village on the archipelago has it’s own historic stereotype.
From politics to football to rikotta vs pizelli, we just love showing what makes us different from each other. Here are some ways Maltese people used to refer to people from different towns.
1. Tarxien: Tar-Redus
Back in the day, Tarxien was ground zero for goatkeepers and their goats. And with great goat, comes even greater goat poop.
More than a village, Tarxien was a poopsmith’s wonderland, with enough dung around the village for it to remain a stereotype centuries later.
2. Rabat: Rabti Kibx
People from Rabat were known to be hard-headed, stubborn like the mule, unshakeable in their negotiations.
I have no idea if this is, or ever was true, but it did lead to the frighteningly Anti-Semitic Maltese idiom “When a person from Rabat and a person from Żebbug meet, a Jew is born.”
3. Birkirkara: Tas-Sormhom Ċatt
Women from Birkirkara have had to deal with a body-shaming stereotype for centuries. It is said that the women from Birkirkara have flat asses, and this stereotype can be used to keep a strong independent woman down. Fortunately, McDonald’s have conveniently stepped in, teamed up with the local council, and did their duty in ensuring that all women in Birkirkara have an opportunity to be rounder.
4. Qormi: Sa Nofsinhar
It is said men only work till noon in Qormi. Some say it’s because they love a tipple after lunch, and rarely make it back to their workstations. Others say it’s because many of the men would work all night, baking bread, and will be ready by noon.
To be honest, both of those stereotypes are pretty decent. Keep doing you, Ħal-Qormi.
5. Il-Ħamrun: Tas-Sikkina
This one is pretty straightforward: people from Ħamrun have been known to kill each over even a tiny infraction. An ugly look, a cough in the wrong direction, even choosing to wear the wrong colours is considered a good enough reason for execution. *slit, slit, splash*
However, it is said that if you wear the colour blue and praise St. Cajetan, you will be accepted. At least, until you run into the tat-tamal people saying that shit. Then you must die.
6. Birgu: Tat-Tokba
Many villages in Malta have local dialects that range from cute to semi-incomprehensible. It is said that Birgu was actually called tat-toqba – “of the hole”, as it were – but that the ‘q’ was changed to a ‘k’ to reflect their dialect.
The people of Birgu spoke funny, and the rest of Malta nicknamed the entire city after that, because that’s just the kind of neighbours we are.
7. L-Isla: Tac-Ċaċu
People from Isla are chatterboxes. They just can’t keep their mouths shut, talking about anything and everything, gossiping the day away.
It is said that in the Great Seige of 1565, the incessant chatter coming from Isla is the real reason the town withheld the Ottomans and never fell to Dragut’s army. The Turks could handle cannon fire, swords, and Grand Master La Valette, but just couldn’t deal with all the yapping.
8. Żejtun: Ta’ Saqajhom Ċatta
OK, apparently people from Żejtun were not exactly known for their elegance. The Maltese people, in years past, would laugh at the expense of the Zwieten.
Joke’s on us though – while everyone was too busy making fun of them, they were busy making some of the best olive oil the world has ever seen.
9. Paola: Il-Midjunin
Grand Master Antoine De Paule wanted to be remembered as one of the great Grand Masters, so he built a city and named it after himself. The new city, Paola, was pretty legit, except it had one problem: no one lived there.
So the Grand Master devised a plan: anyone who moves to Paola would have all their debts forgiven.
Needless to say, people now happily live in Paola.