Damoiseaux and Donzelli

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by aefrizzo, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    The French substantive damoiseau and the Italian donzello share the same original meaning (i.e someone who was, in the Middle Age, serving as a would-be Knight), as well as the same etymo fromLatin dominicellus. They both are, still today although not very frequently, registered family names in France as well as in Italy, respectively.
    Among the variants one can also find Damoiseaux and Donzelli. The latter seems to be a plural, but it could also be a patronymic latinlike genitive. As for the former, according to "about.com Genealogy", the suffix -eau is already a patronymic: little son of. I do not understand the further addition of the plural suffix X.
    Thank you for your patience.
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    It could be plural, I suppose for the same reasons that some Italian family names could be plural. Or it could represent an Old French nominative singular ending (-ellus > -els > -eaus).

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