Tuesday, June 14

Hilarious Italian Names

While comedians were having a wild Bacchanal over the gift from the gods of the Weiner-Penis scandal, I couldn't help but think of one thing:  How is it that this guy went through life - especially elementary school and college - with that last name?  I always thought that Americans were very quick to change 'inconvenient' last names, especially if it was a bit embarrassing, like Pork or Hamburger or Hardon or something of that nature.  
I suppose based on the sexting (after all, isn't a picture worth a thousand words?), Weiner was clearly proud of his family name (as well as the family jewels) and wanted to 'uphold' the brand, so to speak.

I have always gotten a big kick out of the last names you come across in Italy.  In Italy, up until very very recently, and I'm quite certain in most city offices it's still not allowed, you couldn't change your name if you were armed with a Papal decree to do so.  While I've almost never come across truly embarrassing last names (the Italians clearly since time began have always kept in check their Bella Figura), you still happen upon names that never fail to put a smile on your face.

My coworkers and I used to keep a running list whenever we met a client that had one of those.  What I wouldn't give to have it now.  

Mangiapane   Mr. Eatbread
Bevilacqua    Mrs. Drinkwater
Bugiardini     Little liars
Poverelli      Poor little souls
Malinconico  Melancholic
Inganno        Trickster
Tagliabue     Ox-cutter
Quattrocchi     Four-eyes
Culetto        Little ass
Scopacasa   Sweep house

You also come across cities that give you a chuckle, like Bastardo (Umbria) or Scopa (Screw or Sweep, near Milan), or Malpensa (Ill-thought) - one place in which I for one wouldn't want to live...

What are they putting in the drinking water in this town?A friend was tickled pink to come across this doorbell listing: 
Frega = Rip-Off | Felici = Happy | Troiani = Trojans or Whores 
[so now we know why condoms are named Trojans]

You can find another enjoyable listing here, replete with photos (just click on 'listing here') but in any case, feel free to add to mine in the comments below!

More on Italian last names - Click here 


Dave514 said...

Brisebois= Breakwood, Ovid Boileau= Empty Bone Drink Water.

One of my best friends has the very English name of Kent Turnipseed. BTW Google him. It's interesting. He's my guru.


Irreverent Italy said...

I still get tickled pink over the fact that England's Minister of Agriculture was once a Mr. Hogg...

Anonymous said...

2 Italians that I know have the last names Chiappetti and Panebianco. Then there's the famous Italian-American weatherman Joe Bastardi. Of course, he's a huge guy with massive muscles. I'm life taught him quickly to get to the gym!

Irreverent Italy said...

What's Chiappetti? Little buns or small cheeks?

carolinrome said...

Alessando Il Grande was a student of mine. The first day of lessons I asked if he had a sister Caterina. His answer, no but my uncle is Federico. Diociauita is another name. All the vowels scared me the first time I saw it written. Then I realized what it spelled out.

Irreverent Italy said...

Panebianco = Whitebread
Diociaiuto = God help us

And today I met a Ficcadenti = Toothpick or, something stuck between your teeth :)

Anonymous said...

Mine is LECCHI
In Sicily you can easily find CARNEMOLLA o MEZZASALMA.
We're so used to them, we don't even notice! I even got fond of mine!