onomastico

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by ladybird, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. ladybird Senior Member

    London
    English, England
    Ciao a tutti

    After reading another thread about "onomastico", I looked it up in the WR dictionary and it translates as name-day.

    I have no idea what a name-day is! I have looked to see if there are any threads on it but couldn't find anything.

    Can anyone enlighten me please?

    Grazie in anticipo
     
  2. Naimadia Junior Member

    Berlin
    Germany
    Well, it's simply the day you celebrate your name! Very common in Italy, you even get a lot of presents!
     
  3. Fernita

    Fernita Moderada-mente

    Buenos Aires-Argentina
    castellano de Argentina.
    For example, March 17 is Saint Patrick´s day. If your name is Patrick, in some countries people would congratulate you on that day.

    Hope it helps.
     
  4. ladybird Senior Member

    London
    English, England
    Sounds like fun! Grazie Naimadia.
     
  5. ladybird Senior Member

    London
    English, England
    Ciao Fernita

    Thanks for the info.

    I wonder if there is a Saint Angela's day? :D
     
  6. Fernita

    Fernita Moderada-mente

    Buenos Aires-Argentina
    castellano de Argentina.
    I think there is a Saint Angela. Just look it up in Google. lol
    :)
     
  7. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Actually I've noticed that some onomastici are listed at the bottom of the forum list page.

    For example, Saint Alfredo is coming up on August 14;) (sorry, Alfry, I couldn't resist...)
     
  8. Victoria32

    Victoria32 Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (UK) New Zealand
    I wonder if there is a saint with my real name? It sounds like a lot of fun...

    What about birthdays, are they a big deal in Italy?
     
  9. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    If you search WR for onomastico you'll find lots of threads about it, how it's celebrated, etc.
     
  10. zackfrio New Member

    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Italian - Abruzzese
    Yes, Birthdays are a big deal in Italy too, it's just the onomastico is a big deal too, since the country is almost entirely catholic. I believe someone already explained it in the thread, but generally all Italian names come from the name of a saint, and since every day has a saint feast on it that day would be your onomastico if you have the same name. Towns also have patron Saints, and if you visit a town who has your name as it's patron saint on your onomastico it is very special and you can expect a warm welcome.
     
  11. Memimao Senior Member

    Busto Arsizio, Italy
    United Kingdom English

    But the shops are closed:D
     
  12. Lucy Van Pelt Senior Member

    Florence, Italy
    Italian
    The name day is celebrated only in some parts of Italy, especially in the South.
    My family has Sicilian origins and we celebrate our name days, even with a little present.
    But here in Florence I can say nobody celebrates it, and they don't even know the day on which the Saints are reminded (except San Giovanni, June 24th, that is the Florence patron Saint and we have a lot of official celebration ending with the fireworks)
     
  13. Memimao Senior Member

    Busto Arsizio, Italy
    United Kingdom English
     
  14. PaoloZ New Member

    Trieste, Italy
    Italian
    Is there an English expression to wish someone a good name day?
     
  15. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Hi Paolo - We usually use the saint's name to wish someone a good day - "Happy St. Joseph's Day!" :)

    We celebrate this day in my family and we can even buy greeting cards that say "Happy St. Joseph's Day."

    For the other saints, the cards usually say "Happy Name Day!"
     
  16. Mark Dobson

    Mark Dobson Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    I never heard of the practise in England before I converted to Catholicism, and then it seemed to be more of a big deal in certain communities of Catholics in England, the Polish one for example. If you said “Happy name day!” or “Happy St. XXX day!” to someone in England on their name day, they'd most likely give you a blank look in the first case and be rather surprised in the second.
     
  17. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    I agree, name day would not be widely understood in the UK as they're not celebrated, even by us Catholics. ;)
     
  18. curiosone

    curiosone Senior Member

    Romagna, Italy
    AE - hillbilly ;)
    It isn't very celebrated among American Catholics, either. Or rather, if you had one (I never did, with an Old Testament name), someone in your familly (or another Catholic friend) might say "Happy St. ...", but there was never a big deal about it (certainly no presents). I once got a little book with the story of the saint I chose for confirmation (from a priest friend). Nowadays (in Emilia-Romagna), people might notice the day, and say "Buon onomastico!" but that's about it.
     
  19. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Going back to Paolo's question (post #14), the answer remains the same (Happy Name Day! or Happy St. X's Day!) whether or not the person receiving this greeting knows what a name day is or whether they celebrate it.

    I wouldn't dare to generalize about how widespread this phenomenon is here in the states, but it's a tradition in my family and we were never very religious about it. When you have a grandfather, father, brother and several uncles named Joe - it's not hard to have a St. Joseph's day feast and a good excuse to indulge in some sfinci di San Giuseppe!
     
  20. curiosone

    curiosone Senior Member

    Romagna, Italy
    AE - hillbilly ;)
    Oh I agree with you. But I say "Happy St.Patrick's Day!" and "Happy St.Joseph's!"/"Buon S.Giuseppe" (which happens to be Father's Day in Italy) without necessarily meaning it as a name day. They're both simply important saints, and I (and many others) celebrate them.
     
  21. CPA Senior Member

    Rome
    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Believe it or not, until quite recently you often couldn't have a child baptised in Italy unless you gave it a saint's name.
     
  22. Mark Dobson

    Mark Dobson Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    There would be nothing inaccurate about it as a translation, but I prefer people to know what the deuce I'm going on about when I speak to them: just one of my little eccentricities! :D

    Edit: Silly rule that, about the saints' names: if rigorously applied, it would only mean that new saints only ever had names which were already in use - what a bore!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

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