The Italian Mafia originally started in the mid-19th century in Sicily. The Sicilians called it the Cosa Nostra, meaning "our thing". It is said that the men of the Italian mafia, those who are a part of Cosa Nostra and daily risk their lives for their families, do not feel the need to name their organization anything. The Sicilians, those who were not a part of the Cosa Nostra, believed that the men were role models and protectors. Several men and women referred to the Cosa Nostra as honorable, noble and generous.

In the late-19th century, it began to spread to the United States, mostly towards the East Coast region. New York became one of the capital states in the U.S. for the Italian mafia; the Bonanno family, the Colombo family, the Gambino family, the Genovese family, and the Lucchese family. The mafia continued to spread out through the United States to Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and several other places.

Most of the Italian mafia's Capo di Tutti Capi - the boss of all bosses - have been put behind bars or are currently in the process of being indicted. While that means the Underboss has taken over, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a myriad of ideas and ways to bring down the Italian mafia. Many hope this happens, seeing as how they have become more criminal since the organization first began, but there are a few people in the world who still look up to these Uomimi D'onore - "men of honor" - and hope that their reign continues.
Italian Mafia: a criminal organization; a criminal secret society.
by Electric Passion January 20, 2008
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The italian mafia is the first one which pops into the head of any one who hears the word "mafia". It is the only true mafia. The italian mafia, or the family (not cosanostra), are respected and loved by their people. A "mafioso" as some refer to them as,does his job to make the life of his people easier. Any crimal acts takin up by the mafia are done for the good of their people. Anyone who disturbes the italian deals with all of them. They are also experts of getting the job done, as long as no questions are asked. The one thing they frown upon in the mafia are snitches. "Never take sides against the Family", even though this was said by a movie character, this still applies. Mafioso's aren't criminals, they are problem solvers, and buisnessmen who make their people happy.
The "gangs" work only for themselves, the Italian Mafia works for their people
by Don_Felice September 22, 2006
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Is the only REAL mafia around. Sure, you may here about the Russion mafia or the Japanese mafia, but they are not shit compared to the REAL Italian mafia.
by jr March 23, 2005
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a mafia is a family of people who protect each other. A mafia is a family of people who when find out their baby was raped and partly murdered from it, isn't going to let the people that did, breathe right ever again.
italian mafia no like Northern Lehigh slave drive high school.
by beakbeak March 4, 2010
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Mafia men (mafiosi) are very dangerous criminals, mostly murderers on their own or on commission. The goal of mafia is power, and they achieve this keeping people in deep fear. If you disagree with a mafioso, you'll die. If not you, any other member of your family will, children included, probably more than one.

Mafia has many different "flavours", according to the region they rule in. Mafia in Sicily, 'Ndrangheta in Calabria, Camorra in Campania, Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia. Despite their local differences, they all act under the same criminality pattern: threats, blackmail and murder, sometimes carnages. Their major monetary income is usually by drug dealership.

Don't mistake italian mafia with italian folklore: they're really different issues. Italian mafia is the worst italian calamity.
Who murdered Falcone and Borsellino? Italian Mafia was, whoever else?
by Marhis August 22, 2007
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1.large group of italians involved in organised crime.

2. usually residing in New York, Southern New Jersey, California and (surprisingly)the Everett/Seattle area of Washington State.
Italian Mafia--The Sopranos, The Godfather...etc
by Jude H October 16, 2007
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The Italian mafia, all 5 crime families are secretly running North Jersey.
by Petey Gonzalez February 23, 2009
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