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Re: MR: Pulcinella

Poster: Andre Detommaso <andre.detommaso@intelsat.int>


this is in response to Alfredo's query about the character named
Pulcinella (sorry about the delay, but I have to get the digest version
of the list, as I am receiving this at work). 

The character of Pulcinella is probably the most common one in Italian
puppet shows. When I was a kid, my father used to take me to watch the
puppet shows in Rome on Sundays. The stories would be typical Commedia
dell'Arte adaptations for small children, but eventually the Pulcinella
character would always come around and beat everybody up. All the
children would be on pins and needles waiting for him to show up, and
then would yell his name in glee.

If I had to look for a literal translation, Pulcinella would mean
"little chicken" ("pulcino" = chick). Pulcinella is a Neapolitan
character. In Neapolitan dialect, a diminutive would involve placing the
"ella" sound on the name. Someone not from Naples who would hear it,
would most probably  write it as heard. To give an example in America,
it would be like as if someone went to the South for the first time, and
would write "You all" as "yall", because that is how they heard it.
Remember that in Italian, words are written as they sound. By the way,
thumb is "pollice".

Finally, male names ending with an "a" are not uncommon. My mundane name
is "Andrea", which is italian for Andrew. There is no female equivalent
of that name in Italian. It causes a tremendous amount of confusion here
in the States, as in most other countries, so I go by Andre. Another
very typical male name ending with an "a" is Luca (Luke).

I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me if I
can be of further assistance.

In service,

- Lorenzo il Confuso
Archer Marshal, Shire of Highland Foorde

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