I have a question.

Regularly when I interact with strangers they comment on my obviously Italian last name. It almost always comes from a fellow Italian and usually takes its form as some sort of positive association occasionally with Italian language thrown in.

“An Italian! Molto Bene!”
“Ahhh, your name ends in a vowel. That’s always a good thing.”
“DiDonato! Excellent name!”

Really, these are pretty odd statements. I always presumed that they were just a form of small talk focusing on a shared characteristic. But recently I wondered: do other cultural names illicit the same kind of responses? If you’re last name is Muller do Germans on the street applaud your shared heritage? How about French with Archambault or Irish with O’Sullivan?

Any experience on this matter from the readership?

3 thoughts on “Italian

  • 8/13/2015 at 5:52 pm

    My last name is German, and I’ve never really experienced this with deutschophiles (or whatever they are called). But I don’t think my last name is obviously German, really. Nothing like DiDonato, which is significantly more Italian than regular old Donato (is that even a last name?).

    • 8/14/2015 at 12:29 pm

      This also made me think: are there non-regional last names? Last names that aren’t connected with any region?

      i’m not sure there are any such names.

      • 8/16/2015 at 1:25 pm

        My last name is German too and also sounds jewish. I get the occasional, “oh are you jewish?” but nobody asks with any real excitement about it or anything and no one has ever been the least bit interested in the fact that it’s German.


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