Interesting names: Passacantando, Passalaqua

On TV a minute ago, I saw a man whose last name was Passacantando. It made me think of another man I know, whose surname is Passalaqua.

Hi Jamie

True story:
I went to high school with a guy whose last name was ‘Bayer’. His first name was ‘Theodore’. Naturally, nobody actually called him ‘Theodore’, but rather ‘Teddy’… :roll:

Anyway, Teddy had a younger sister. Would you like to venture a guess as to her official (birth certificate!) first name?
(Tip: It’s not ‘Polar’…) :smiley:


Was it Ursula or Paddy or Honey perhaps? It couldn’t have been Grizzly, Brownie, Blackie, Pandy or Cubbie, could it? (There are also spectacled bears, would you believe it!)

Hi together!

Conchita made me having an idea! I think there is a name “Griselda” which the Nickname “Grizzly” matches to.

Might that be?

Nice riddle!


Conchita, one of your guesses was almost correct!

The young lady in my story was named “Panda”. Really! :shock:

Can you believe that parents would do that on purpose to a child? The poor girl! I hope she’s gotten married in the meantime. And hopefully she found a husband with a name that doesn’t sound like ‘bear’. :smiley: I think ‘Panda Passalaqua’, for example, would be much better than being “Panda Bayer.” :wink:


There are quite a few names and family names in Spanish, which, put together, can form a funny, but also unfortunate combination, like: Dolores Fuertes de Cabeza (or: de Barriga) – we always have two family names in Spain, our father’s and our mother’s, because women keep their maiden names after marriage. It would translate as Heavy Headaches/Tummyaches. I’m serious! Dolores (literally ‘Pains’) comes from Our Lady of Sorrows. Lola and Lolita are its diminutives. A lot of the Virgin Mary’s names are still used, like: Milagros (Miracles), Remedios (Remedies), Asunci?n (Assumption), Carmen (Carmel), Paz (Peace), Lourdes, Mercedes (Mercy, Grace), Consuelo (Consolation), Angustias (Anguish), Anunciaci?n (Annunciation), Nieves (Snow) and many more.

My own name, if translated, may sound strange. The full name is Mar?a de la Concepci?n, the (Immaculate) Conception of Mary! It used to be very common, like Inmaculada (Immaculate). Conchita is also a small shell and, in some Latin American countries, it’a part of a woman’s anatomy!

One of the early accounts of life in America was written by a man whose last name was Cabesa de Vaca, which means “cow’s head”.

Anyway, I enjoyed those names I posted because they’re so strange and descriptive. If I’m not mistaken, the first man’s name means “passes by singing”, and the second man’s name means “passes water”. A common name in my area is Bommarito, which means “good husband”.

When I was in art school I worked for three Sicilians who were always pointing out to me strange Italian names around us. These were truly odd, such as Quattrociocchi, which means four pieces of hair snipped off. My bosses used to exclaim, “And the thing is, you NEVER see names like this in Italy!” Evidently, people in Italy know what the names mean, so they change them. After the second generation, Americans don’t know the meaning of the names, so the don’t bother to change them.

I think the Czechs may have the strangest surnames of all. There are people walking around with surnames that mean “stupid”, “heretic”, “hurried up”, “guy with a big stomach”, “drooler” and a lot of other unusual things. My friend’s house near Detroit was built in the early 20th century by a man from Poland named Apolon Kapusta, “Apollo Cabbage”.

Hi Jamie,

Being a Quattrociocchi, I’ve not only had the fortune of being blessed with such a tongue twister of a name :wink: , but I have also had the chance to learn the meaning and origin.

Quattrociocchi does not mean “four pieces of hair snipped off”. Actually, it is as follows:

Quattro - four
Ciocchi - logs

Literal translation.

It is derived from the loggers of mid-Italy who were, you guessed it, Italy’s pre-eminent loggers. Yes, somewhere, in my past, my ancestors raped the land of all things wood.

So, unless the idioms in Italy are as such where logs are slang for hair strands (I have never heard this used in such a manner, and I do speak Italian), I think what happened here is that your tutors :stuck_out_tongue: let their local Sicilian vernacular get in the way of the vernacular which is known as Italiano Centrale; a dialect spoken in Lazio and much closer with standard Italian than Siciliano (Rome is in the province of Lazio as well, which is likely why Italiano Centrale has always been quite close to standard Italian).

Anyhow, I just had to respond to this regardless of how stale the thread is. Being that this is such an unusual name outside of Italy (alas, it is quite popular in Lazio, from where my family originates), I (naturally) find it quite interesting when this alphabet-of-a-name is discussed.

Ciao! :smiley:

Thomas is an Aramaic name, I think. Probably there aren’t that many Aramaic names used today, so in that regard the Thomases of the world are unique.


Oh, yeah, what does “Thomas” mean?

I’m not certain, but I think it probably means “enlightened one”.


No, really, it probably means “one who dwells with goats” or something like that.

Thomas is Aramaic in origin and comes from “twin”.

The “Th” is greek in origin.

Yes, to live in a world where “Thomas” is unique would make life so much easier to the millions of us pouring over records of our Thomas ancestors born in Wales with the first name “John” or “Ann”. :lol:


My middle name is Paul ( I suppose if I were Spanish it’d be Pablo… if I were Italian it’d be Paolo… etc.).

Hi everyone,
There are some interesting and funny surnames in every language. As a Turk, and a teacher, I meet a lot of new students who has different names and surnames. The names are sometimes related to the religion and those names are used all over the world, or let’s say names derived from these holly names are used all over the world (for example; Abraham became İbrahim in Turkish, David-Davut, Joseph-Yusuf, etc.)
Most of the names used these days have the same meaning all around the world. In Turkey there are a good many of girls with the name “G?l” which means “Rose” and there are as many girls in other countries with a name which means the same.
But the most interesting surname I have ever heard of was “Altmışsekizoğlu” which means “the son of 68 (yes sixty-eight)”! Strange, eh?
What do you think of his mum?
Bye for now.

Interesting, yes, but ‘son of…’ added to names usually refers to the father, or is it different in Turkish?

Yes, it does refer to the father, so he’d be the son of 68 fathers. His poor mother, indeed. :wink:


It’s funny you mention the name “Rose” – a few weeks ago my sister gave birth to a baby girl whom she and her husband decided to name “Rose”.

We’ve since spoken several times (of course) and in the course of our conversations I’ve teased her about naming their first son (if they have a son) “Jack”.

I finally got the joke now, thanks, Quattrociocchi (and about time, too)!

Sorry, Tom, but I seem to be a bit thick today and can’t figure out what the name ‘Jack’ has got to do with ‘Rose’. Care you enlighten my poor, uninformed self?

Hi all,
I think that subject became a very interesting one, so why not have a topic discussing that?
Will everyone translate their names and surnames or the names which will be funny into English?

love to explain that in italian, my mother tongue, context is as important as literal meaning… “brilliant Watson.”

so, here we go:
Ciocca di fiori = a nosegay, a small bunch of flowers.
Ciocca di capelli = a tuft or lock of hair.
Ciocca di capelli d’oro = golden locks
ciòcco, [it: sm.(pl. m.-chi)] Grosso pezzo di legno da ardere. ~ ceppo. = log to burn

hate to be this way, but my big daddy was a Quattrociocchi.
And, grandpa did have just a few strings of hair, maybe four, grandma used to say that he did like to build a nice fire.
quattro = four
ciocchi = locks or logs… same difference… LOL


How is “bruschetta” pronounced by Italians?

I think that the Italian “ch” is pronounced as a “k”, yielding “bru-SKEH-tah”. Is that correct?

I hear Americans pronouncing it “bru-SHEH-tuh” frequently, and it sort of bugs me.



Jack was Rose’s love in the movie “Titanic”.