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English names and their real meanings.
Old 03-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #1
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English names and their real meanings.

As I study Italian I run into more and more English names of people and things that have interesting Italian meanings.

For example: La Guardia airport in NYC. It was named after Fiorello La Guardia, the 99th mayor of NYC. Translated into English his name is Fiorello the Guard.

So people flying in and out of La Guardia, are using The Guard Airport.

Any other interesting meanings to English names you would care to share?
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:03 PM   #2
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I always think of "influenza" which got its name from the idea that there was some sort of unhealthy "influence" from something unknown. Kind of odd that an Italian word was chosen, since it was a Scottish physician who named it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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I was surprised to learn "innuendo" was Italian for "suppository."
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:11 PM   #4
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Another interesting word is fiasco.

In Italian a fiasco is an ordinary wine bottle or wine flask.

Supposedly, a glassblower who did a lousy job of making a fine piece of glass work, would end up with an imperfect bottle shaped object that could not be fixed - in other words, 'un altro fiasco' - another flask. Thus fiasco became the word for something that was badly messed up.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
As I study Italian I run into more and more English names of people and things that have interesting Italian meanings.

For example: La Guardia airport in NYC. It was named after Fiorello La Guardia, the 99th mayor of NYC. Translated into English his name is Fiorello the Guard.

So people flying in and out of La Guardia, are using The Guard Airport.

Any other interesting meanings to English names you would care to share?
Not to mention Fiorello means little flower, so they are really flying into the Little Flower Guard.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:29 AM   #6
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I was surprised to learn "innuendo" was Italian for "suppository."
Funny!
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:52 AM   #7
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I was surprised to learn "innuendo" was Italian for "suppository."

LOL, I nearly fell off the couch!


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Old 03-07-2015, 11:14 AM   #8
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If I may, I would like to put in a plug here for the proper spelling of capisce?, meaning "do you (formal) understand?" It was spelled "capiche" in the op-ed cartoon in today's paper, and I have seen it spelled that way many other times as well. Which indicates to me that the people doing so don't know how to pronounce it properly, either. It is ka-pee-shay. Do not leave off the "shay". My general rule for employing foreign words is - Don't, unless you can can both say and spell them properly.
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
As I study Italian I run into more and more English names of people and things that have interesting Italian meanings.

For example: La Guardia airport in NYC. It was named after Fiorello La Guardia, the 99th mayor of NYC. Translated into English his name is Fiorello the Guard.

So people flying in and out of La Guardia, are using The Guard Airport.

Any other interesting meanings to English names you would care to share?
I don't really understand. As you pointed out, La Guardia isn't an English word, it is the surname of an Italian, mayor La Guardia, which translates to the guard.

Similarly, Los Angeles is not an English word, it is a contraction of El pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles, which is Spanish, and roughly means the village of our mother, queen of the angels. El Paso means the pass, in historical and geographic reality El Paso TX refers to El Paso Del Norte which indicates the northern pass of a chain of mounatains that in Mexico is called Sierra Madre Occidental, and in the US the Rocky Mountains. Las Vegas means the meadows. Piedras Negras means black rocks. Florida means Flowered or full of flowers. Much of the US was Spanish before it was English and may soon be Spanish again.

Ha
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:55 AM   #10
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It is ka-pee-shay. Do not leave off the "shay". My general rule for employing foreign words is - Don't, unless you can can both say and spell them properly.
True. But.......

My parents spoke a dialect, and as part of that dialect they often left off the final vowel. So, provolone cheese was 'provelon', prosciutto was 'prosciutt', and so on. But, not all words were truncated, much to my confusion when I started learning 'proper' Italian. I think the old Veneziani do a similar thing plus add some words of their own.

Capisce?
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:58 AM   #11
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My parents spoke a dialect, and as part of that dialect they often left off the final vowel.
Like almost everyone of Italian descent where I grew up in NYC.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:00 PM   #12
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I don't really understand. As you pointed out, La Guardia isn't an English word, it is the surname of an Italian, mayor La Guardia, which translates to the guard.

Similarly, Los Angeles is not an English word, it is a contraction of El pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles, which is Spanish, and roughly means the village of our mother, queen of the angels. El Paso means the pass, in historical and geographic reality El Paso TX refers to El Paso Del Norte which indicates the northern pass of a chain of mounatains that in Mexico is called Sierra Madre Occidental, and in the US the Rocky Mountains. Las Vegas means the meadows. Piedras Negras means black rocks. Florida means Flowered or full of flowers. Much of the US was Spanish before it was English and may soon be Spanish again.

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Old 03-07-2015, 01:24 PM   #13
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Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.
of Porciúncula
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:25 PM   #14
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True. But.......

My parents spoke a dialect, and as part of that dialect they often left off the final vowel. So, provolone cheese was 'provelon', prosciutto was 'prosciutt', and so on. But, not all words were truncated, much to my confusion when I started learning 'proper' Italian. I think the old Veneziani do a similar thing plus add some words of their own.

Capisce?
Capisco bene. Forse erano Napoletani.

I'll bet your nonna also told you to "ashpett".
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:27 PM   #15
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Lots of cities in Florida have Spanish language names. Boca Raton is typically translated as "mouth of the mouse", when it really is derived from a nautical expression meaning rocky inlets.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:35 PM   #16
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Then there is always Corpus Christi, Texas.

I can't help but wonder when the ACLU will sue them to change their name.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:51 PM   #17
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Re: family surnames...

My own translates into: "a type of shellfish, and hence an occupational surname for a harvester of such comestibles."
Mom was a Miller... self expanatory.
FIL ... Woolley ... he was a textile mill owner.
Grandmother - Cluett Her Dad Cluett.. Cluett-Peabody Mills, Arrow shirts. Scottish origin unknown.
MIL... Carlson... self explanatory - Sweden
Cousin...Maurer - Bricklayer (German)
Cousin... Darlington - Darling town... English
Cousin...Tyler... Tailor or Talker.
Friend.. Klein - German... "Small"
Friend...Thomson - self explanatory
Friend... Johnson - same
Friend... Snider - German "Shoemaker" "Schneider"
Callan... Spanish - "Be quiet"

Goes on forever. A fun exercise.
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Old 03-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #18
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Not really a name, but my favorite: Malaria = Mal aria = Bad air (as 'cause' for the illness).

A two dutch / american ones (with some wiki help):
Coney Island = Konijnen eiland = Rabbit's Island
Staten Island = Staten eiland = States Island
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:49 PM   #19
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Re: family surnames...

My own translates into: "a type of shellfish, and hence an occupational surname for a harvester of such comestibles."
Mom was a Miller... self expanatory.
FIL ... Woolley ... he was a textile mill owner.
Grandmother - Cluett Her Dad Cluett.. Cluett-Peabody Mills, Arrow shirts. Scottish origin unknown.
MIL... Carlson... self explanatory - Sweden
Cousin...Maurer - Bricklayer (German)
Cousin... Darlington - Darling town... English
Cousin...Tyler... Tailor or Talker.
Friend.. Klein - German... "Small"
Friend...Thomson - self explanatory
Friend... Johnson - same
Friend... Snider - German "Shoemaker" "Schneider"
Callan... Spanish - "Be quiet"

Goes on forever. A fun exercise.
Hmmm. Two threads on identity theft (credit card theft, been hacked), then a list of names of family members? You're making it easy.
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