Surname AND nicknames.

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
TimInMN
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Surname AND nicknames.

Postby TimInMN » 03 Dec 2014, 13:58

In my search for Giovanni ROGANTINI, I was told he might be from the "Murin" family from Dasile. I was informed that all families have a nickname along with their surname.

Can anyone shed some light as to what this means or why they did/do this?

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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby erudita74 » 03 Dec 2014, 15:23

The following might help to answer your question -
Erudita

http://www.italyworldclub.com/genealogy/surnames/

Nicknames
Some features of the personality or appearance, at times ironical, identified an individual and his descendants, example Piccoli, Short, Selvaggi, Savage. The nickname was often associated to the color or form of the hair (some of the most common surnames have this origin) as in Rossi, Morelli, Ricci, size, like Corti, Grossi, Testa; more creatively, the (often ironical) nickname was made with a verb and an object indicating an action typical of the individual as in Pappalardo (that who eats lard). Other surnames may have come from moral features, as Selvaggio or Allegretti. Names of animals could serve to the same purpose, so there were Mosca (someone small or annoying), Cavallo (someone big, noisy or with large front teeth), Gatto, Grillo, Lepore, Volpe. Finally a nickname may have come from some feature in the coatsofarm of the family, like De Argento, Mazzei, D'Arco.

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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby erudita74 » 03 Dec 2014, 15:29

also there is a preview of a book called Italian Surnames by Prof Joseph G Fucilla on googlebooks.com

Chapter 3 which he calls Pet Names

http://books.google.com/books?id=Qmg6Df ... es&f=false

Erudita

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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby TimInMN » 03 Dec 2014, 16:52

Thank you Erudita. This is quite interesting. So, in your personal opinion, would you say that two families that share the same Surname but have different "Family" nicknames could still be related or most likely not related?

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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby liviomoreno » 03 Dec 2014, 17:33

They could related or not related...
What is also interesting is that in some places (mainly in NE of Italy) the nickname was added to the surname even in vital records.

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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby hahaha » 19 Feb 2015, 09:15

more creatively, the (often ironical) nickname was made with a verb and an object indicating an action typical of the individual as in Pappalardo (that who eats lard). Other surnames may have come from moral features, as Selvaggio or Allegretti. Names of animals could serve to the same purpose, so there were Mosca (someone small or annoying), Cavallo (someone big, noisy or with large front teeth), Gatto, Grillo, Lepore, Volpe. Finally a nickname may have come from some feature in the coatsofarm of the family, like De Argento, Mazzei, D'Arco.?
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Re: Surname AND nicknames.

Postby Anizio » 19 Feb 2015, 23:33

Before 1800 I have found most church records do indicate family nicknames by use of the word "vulgo"

I have found this in two families of my so far: Rocconi vulgo Pistagnocchi and Rotadori vulgo Toccacielo. Generally, especially for the less common last names that don't develop independently, these nicknames indicate different branches of the same family and if you trace it back to the 1400s it is likely those nicknames will drop off into a unified family, again assuming its a unique name. But I have never seen a case where these vulgar last names, or nicknames, were recorded in civil registers or replaced the actual family name.

Understanding old Italian naming conventions in Roman and medieval times helps understand why this happens a little better.
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