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Titles in Italy
Let's see now - my handy Italian/English dictionary says (going from top to
bottom on your questions):
Brachi (sp) - it depends on exactly what you're trying to call your house.
If you are close in your spelling, brachi is the plural of bracco, or hound.
If you are trying to say something like Arms House, it's spelled bracci
(that's plural for arms as in limbs, pronounced BRA-chee)
"house" as in "family with the same name" is Famiglia (fa-MEEL-ya) - but to
the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, Italians didn't really use the
term as we do in the SCA in the time periods we're talking about. It would
have been "i dei Bracchi" like "de(i) Medici"
Um - lord and lady: the dictionary says lord can be Signore, Padrone or
Sovrano (no, not the bank!), but the reverse translation says Signore means
gentleman, Sir, Mr., master, owner and lord. Padrone is master, boss,
landlord - not quite what I think you want. Sovrano means sovereign (i.e.,
King - definitely NOT what you were looking for). I think I'd opt for
Signore (seen-YOR-eh, with the last syllable _really_ clipped short) as a
general term. Plural is Signori (seen-YOR-ee)
It's a little better for lady: signora, nobildonna, gentildonna are all given
as options. Signora back-translates as lady, madam, Mrs., wife; gentildonna
is gentlewoman - more of an descriptor than a title. I can't find nobildonna
in the dictionary, but a direct translation is noblewoman, again a
description. I'd vote for Signora (sin-YOR-a). Plural is Signore; yes, it's
spelled and pronounced basically like singular male. Some people drop the
extra syllable and make the singular male Signor - either is acceptable.
Most of the titles sound too much like English (i.e., Barone/Baronessa,
Conte/Contessa, Duca/Duchessa (prounounced du-KESS-a), Re/Regina. However,
some alternatives for knight are Cavaliere (cah-vah-l'YEHR-ee) and Paladino
(pah-lah-DEE-no). I suspect that the form of address would be Signor
Cavaliere (i.e., Sir Knight), but the dictionary doesn't give any information
like that. My guess is based on my rusty modern Italian. I can't find any
references to female equivalents - I don't think there were too many, and
they were probably feminized endings of the masculine terms (i.e.,
Cavalieressa or Paladina). The Italians didn't go in for lots of titles that
I can find, but a dictionary is limited in scope.
I'd avoid calling anyone Il (capital EYE, small ELL) Signore or Nostro
Signore; they both mean God.
I don't off-hand know of any equivalent to "sirrah", but I would probably
call my employer "Padrone" (pah-DRONE-eh) or "Padronessa" (pah-drone-ESS-ah)
- i.e. boss. If it's nobility, Signore or Signora.
If you please: per favore (pear fah-VOR-eh)
Excuse me: polite form (i.e. to people who outrank you, or are your rank but
older): Scusatemi (skoo-ZAH-tay-mee)
Excuse me: friendly form: Scusi (SKOO-zi)
Forgive me: polite: Perdonatemi (pear-dough-NAH-tay-mee)
Forgive me: friendly: perdone (pear-DOUGH-nay)
Hurry up! is a command, usually only given to people of lower rank: Fa
presto! (fah PRESS-toe)
Come here: again a command, and I can't remember the verb conjugation. The
verb is venire, and it's irregular (eep!). I think it's Veni (VEHN-i), but I
wouldn't swear to it.
If you want to curse, or if you get stuck, go ahead and use Spanish. It'll
sound about the same, since all the western European languages are basically
a spectrum of dialects that sound a lot alike and are spelled differently.
Yes, that's a simplification, but for listening, no one will know the
Caitlyn o Duirnin, del baronea di Ponte Alto (at least, I think it's baronea
- I'm doing a little extrapolation, since _barony_ isn't in the dictionary,
but _contea_ means county)
By the way, Giovanni, is there still plague in Isenfir? Last time we saw you
in these parts, you were getting ill...