Capeesh or “Capisce” is the American pseudo-Italian slang for “understand?”.
It is used – often in a threatening manner – at the end of the sentence as an interjection to ask “know what I mean?”.
It is sometimes used without the question mark as an affirmative, meaning “I understand” and makes it an American colloquialism, as in Italian the correct form would be “capisco”.
This informal term originates from the Italian “capisci”, the second person singular present tense form of the verb ‘capire’ which means ‘understand’.
Many different variations have appeared in print such as “capeesh”, “ kapeesh” , “capish” or “capisce”.
It likely gained popularity during the 1940s thanks to the depiction of Italian Americans in Mafia films.
The use of the term gained wider popularity as the number of television owners increased.
The interjection sprung up when it appeared in a funny scene in The Simpsons in 1995:
Brodka: Hey, kid: one more thing. If you ever set foot in this store again, you’ll be spending Christmas in juvenile hall. Capisce? Well, do you understand?
Bart: Everything except “capisce. ”
Nowadays it can be seen on many social media platforms often used in a humorous way instead of a threatening manner.