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Pezzonovante” in Sicilian, literally means $1.90. This term usually is applied to persons of importance. The implication in Al Pacino’s reply is that he doesn’t want or need to be famous or important.
Don Corleone: I knew Santino was going to have to go through all this and Fredo... well, Fredo was... But I, I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don't apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That's my life, I don't apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.
Michael: Another pezzonovante.
Don Corleone: Well, there wasn't enough time, Michael. There just wasn't enough time.
Michael: We'll get there, Pop. We'll get there.
by Gran Duque August 03, 2016
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An Italian word, meaning "Big Shot."

The term is commonly misunderstood to mean any man in power; however, it is usually used pejoratively. In the Godfather, Michael uses the term to console his father who is upset because he had hoped that his son would achieve legitimate success like that of a Senator or President. Michael uses the term to assure his father that such people just think they are important men but in reality are no better than him.
My wife tells me I should be a Congressman instead of a gangster, but I know that a politician is just another pezzonovante.
by Gerry Elbridge February 18, 2008
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An Italian word, meaning a man with power.
(from "The Godfather")

Vito Corleone: I never wanted this for you. ... I thought that when it was your time that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Somethin'.

Michael Corleone: Another pezzonovante.
by texas_musician April 22, 2006
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English slang loan word from Italian, meaning '"Big Shot", originally from WWII, when the Italians used it for the 90 mm artillery, "Big 90 (mm)". the phrase made popular in the film "The Godfather", when Vito tells his son Michael that he wanted him to be an important person, like a Senator, and Michael responds, "another pezzo-novanta", usually used pejoratively.
Senator Corleone, with his big cars, fancy clothes, and wads of cash is just another pezzonovante
by mudderfukker May 30, 2015
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In Sicilian it derives from idiot or moron, but mostly used to show that someone is ignorant or misinformed, maybe even living a false life, not as themselves. Taken as an insult by Italians, especially by Calabrians and Sicilians.
Secco gabban de madre, pezzonovante -translation- go dry hump your mother, dumbass.
by JORGASMCUMMERS July 10, 2008
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