Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Nicknames and their Sources--Italy]
LINGUISTIC FLOATING MATERIAL
NICKNAMES - ITALIAN
FORM C Text of Interview (Unedited)
STATE NEW YORK
NAME OF WORKER May Swenson
ADDRESS 509 E. 79th St., Apt. 21, New York City
DATE October 17, 1938
SUBJECT NICKNAMES AND THEIR SOURCES - ITALY
This is really happen to an uncle of mine — Uncle Vincent, of which I am christened; he went from our little village (Sara Cena, Italy, 4,000 inhabitants) in the south of Italy, to America and stayed there five or six years, then he came back to Italy. This was some years ago; then when the people there living in the village welcomed back their neighbor who have been over in U.S., they were very friendly and curious and asking him about all that he had seen and done in his travels and in America. Naturally, in America they are very interested.
My Uncle had learned a slang of America: “Shut up!” And he said this word whenever he was talking of his experience, meaning you see, to impress with his new learning of the U.S. language, all his friends. He kept saying this word so much, and not ever what it meant, and his friends heard him, and soon they were calling him by that word, “Shut up.” That is the way is often done in Italy, a man called by not his name, but other name of which he reminds by his speech, or something he is doing, or such like that...see? So my Uncle Vincent become “Shut up” and went after that in his town by that name.
There was another man I am knowing in Italy; he they call “Golden Chain”. For why they call him that, “Golden Chain”? Because when coming from a big town in North, and after many years away, coming back to his village there, he have got wealthy and have brought a gold watch and chain hanging across his middle of his