I have heard this phrase in Italian blogs, Instagram accounts etc.., I know a little bit of Italian and couldn't co-relate this to anything. My hunch is that it means stay beautiful (or well). Does the baell come from Neapolitan or some other dialect? In what circumstance is this phrase used?

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    Could you point to some example usages of the phrase? It's hard to recognize a sentence from the mixed recollections of a non-speaker.
    – Denis Nardin
    Mar 22 '16 at 20:13
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    I have heard sometimes “stay in bell” as a jokingly literal translation of “stai in campana”, which is slang for “stai attento/a”, meaning “be careful / watch out”. I don't know the reason for this slang expression, though. Mar 22 '16 at 21:19
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    – egreg
    Mar 23 '16 at 8:09
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    @egreg you should probably make an answer of that and include the link and a summary of the content Mar 23 '16 at 10:07

It seems to be a new entry in the language of youths. According to http://www.blitzquotidiano.it/foto-notizie/giosada-vince-x-factor-foto-ma-che-vuol-dire-baell-2339679/ this word has been invented by an Italian singer/actor named Giosada as a variant of “bell” (Bari dialect for bello).

The word spread rapidly in the social networks (never heard before, to be honest). So stay baell could mean be nice or variants thereof.

  • Grazie, I think this answers my question Mar 23 '16 at 12:40
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    +1 but this is horrifying. I know that languages evolves and that we should aim to describe rather than prescribe, but.. ugh...
    – Denis Nardin
    Mar 23 '16 at 13:18
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    @DenisNardin, don't worry it will disappear in the fogs of internet as soon the next meme and trendy characters will appear on the scene... who knows if we are just victims of some expedient to stand out in a tv contest Mar 23 '16 at 20:17
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    @DaG, ichthyologists have no control over the subject of their study, and don't use fish to communicate Mar 25 '16 at 0:22
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    @DaG From the scientists I know they are more likely to exchange pictures of them with captions commenting how cute they are. Nevertheless I'm sorry if this reaction is inappropriate, but I really don't want a language learner to get the impression that this expression is in any way close to standard Italian...
    – Denis Nardin
    Mar 25 '16 at 15:26

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