bracciale (professione)

Renzo1

New Member
U.S.A. English
Hi Everyone,

In looking at 19th century banns of marriage and other certificates, I see repeated the term "bracciale" listed in the "professione" space. I know that "bracciale" usually means "bracelet" but I think it may have another connotation. Can anyone help with an interpretation of the term as it applies to a profession? Maybe I'm not reading the spelling of the word correctly.

Thanks for your help.

Renzo1
 
  • Le Peru

    Senior Member
    Italy - Umbria
    Ciao Renzo1

    In verità non ne so molto di quest'argomento che stai trattando, ma credo che in questo caso con il termine "bracciale" si intendesse indicare una persona che fa un lavoro manuale.
    A chi era riferito, a mogli o a mariti, o ad altro ancora?

    Comunque, spero che ti sia d'aiuto...

    Barbara
     

    stella_maris_74

    Mod About Chocolate
    Italian - Italy
    Hi Renzo,
    are you sure the word is "bracciale" and not "bracciante"?
    The latter means "(manual) worker / labourer", as Barbara correctly suggests.

    Ciao :)

    dani
     

    SamantaPreviti

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi,
    I would say that Bracciale is not likely to be an old profession...
    Besides, most people in the 29th century were actually Braccianti, that is, agricultors without land, working for landowners.

    I would suggest checking for possibile mistakes in the source.

    Good luck!
    sam
     

    L'aura che tu respiri

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Not to argue, but I SAW the sources. Le ho lette con gli propri occhi. The word "bracciale" appeared in birth certificates from the early 1800s, of my Avellinese bisnonni and trisnonni and tetranonni.
     

    ps139

    Senior Member
    NYC
    USA, English
    I know this is old, but this was very helpful to me. I've been doing a lot of family history research, and been looking at hundreds of documents from Abbruzzo in the 19th century,... several of my ancestors (males) were also listed as bracciale.
     

    SugrMagz

    New Member
    English
    I am also late to the party, but wanted to confirm that I have seen the term "bracciale" on a great many records. I think it is evidence of the diverse dialects in Italy.
    Does the reference in Paul's response, specifically: "bracciante, v. tosc. e it. merid., calab.", stand for Calabria or Calabrese? That would fit where I'm seeing it.

    In the case of my research, and I finding this profession for men in Caulonia in the late 1880s. I know for certain that my great great grandfather Francesco Vallelonga was a farm worker for a wealthy doctor in Caulonia, by the name of Campisi. Francesco's profession is listed as a "bracciale" on his marriage record. Purely speculation here, but perhaps there is an etymological connection for both forms discussed here that relates to working in bondage to a master -- bracelets could be like handcuffs or the "ball and chain" of slave labor.
     

    pebblespebbles

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Hi sugr,
    The etymology is from "braccia" in both cases, (arms). It means "someone that works using his arms". "Bracciante" is proper Italian, " bracciale" seems to be a dialect form.
    Ciao
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    I am also late to the party, but wanted to confirm that I have seen the term "bracciale" on a great many records. I think it is evidence of the diverse dialects in Italy.
    Does the reference in Paul's response, specifically: "bracciante, v. tosc. e it. merid., calab.", stand for Calabria or Calabrese? That would fit where I'm seeing it.

    In the case of my research, and I finding this profession for men in Caulonia in the late 1880s. I know for certain that my great great grandfather Francesco Vallelonga was a farm worker for a wealthy doctor in Caulonia, by the name of Campisi. Francesco's profession is listed as a "bracciale" on his marriage record. Purely speculation here, but perhaps there is an etymological connection for both forms discussed here that relates to working in bondage to a master -- bracelets could be like handcuffs or the "ball and chain" of slave labor.
    Except that serfdom was abolished during the 13th Century. In certain parts of Italy it was replaced by sharecropping, in the South you basically ended up with large estates and landless workers, 'farm hands', who in most of Italy are called 'braccianti' ( 'braccia' + the same ending you know from 'consult-ant', 'account-ant' etc.) , but in the South, for some reason, are also called 'bracciali' - perhaps just an adjective similar to 'manuali' = 'manual', 'hand-' , turned into a noun.
     

    SugrMagz

    New Member
    English
    Lovely. Thank you for the information!!

    Except that serfdom was abolished during the 13th Century....
    ...but that alone would not disqualify the potential etymological connection between the two words. Clearly from what pebbles said, the connection is more likely with "braccia" so I am not defending my guess. But the possibility of a word having root meaning that dates back centuries, should not be discounted out of hand just because the original use would not make sense in a different/more recent context. That evolution of words is exactly what makes etymology so fascinating. :)
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    Etymology is a
    ...but that alone would not disqualify the potential etymological connection between the two words. Clearly from what pebbles said, the connection is more likely with "braccia" so I am not defending my guess. But the possibility of a word having root meaning that dates back centuries, should not be discounted out of hand just because the original use would not make sense in a different/more recent context. That evolution of words is exactly what makes etymology so fascinating. :)
    Meanwhile, I found the missing link. In a letter to the King of the 'due sicilie' in 1800, a group of laborers so introduce themselves :

    "I sottoscritti... le rappresentano come essendo essi lavoratori bracciali di campagna..."

    cit. da Nello Ronga - Il 1799 in terra di lavoro, pag. 198.
     

    ivory1020

    New Member
    English
    Having done Italian research for about 18 years, I looked this up long ago and "bracciale" is a field worker. As above, he worked in a landowner's fields. Bracciante is a laborer.
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    Having done Italian research for about 18 years, I looked this up long ago and "bracciale" is a field worker. As above, he worked in a landowner's fields. Bracciante is a laborer.
    I am not sure I understand your comment. Do you mean that the term 'bracciale' indicated a higher skill level than a 'bracciante' ?
     

    ivory1020

    New Member
    English
    Not at all. A bracciale worked only in the fields either digging, planting, hoeing, harvesting, etc. A bracciante was a laborer who would do any kind of labor probably not having to do with agriculture such as hauling things, carrying things, digging ditches, building things, etc. There were names for those specific jobs too, a vaticale was a hauler. Even in the fields, there were different jobs, a zappatore was a digger or a hoer. I have seen some jobs recently that I have not found a meaning for: one was a zumburino and a turburino in Southern Italy, at least that's what the handwriting looked like.
     

    pixeldust

    New Member
    English
    I'm also joining very late but want to clarify that "bracciale" was particularly used in the Italian south in the 1800s and denotes a male who works the land in some form -- someone who works in agriculture. It does not denote ownership or anything else in terms of economic status; in that sense it's neutral. In my own family trees, I have forebears who owned vast tracts of land, and others who owned smaller tracts of land, and some of these forebears hired laborers to work for them on this land, but they (the land owners) also worked on the land in some form, pitching in -- and they are almost ALL listed as "bracciale," whether they were landowners or not. Their wives (again, whether landowners or not) are often listed as "contadina," which also denotes someone who works the land. There were a few who are listed as "owners" or "gentleman" -- probably just men who inherited piles of land and didn't participate in working it. Pretty much everyone -- with the few exceptions of tailors etc -- were "bracciali" in some form or other in the Italian south. Growing one's own food and making a life around that was the prominent way of living.
     
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