Fasolaro/Fagiolo dall'occhio

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Thomas Tompion

Senior Member
English - England
I read somewhere that the town of Paderno, 20 km north of Cremona, had its name changed on unification to Paderno Fasolaro, and that this change irritated the locals because it referred to their production of black-eyed peas, cowpeas (fagioli dall'occhio)

Risultati immagini per fagioli dell'occhio
Il fagiolo dall'occhio


However, when I look up fasolaro in a dictionary, the talk is all of (Callista chione, the smooth clam).

1579024639736.png


I can see that one could argue that the shape of the cowpea and the clam are similar and that this may have led people to associate the name of the one with the other. Paderno is too far from the sea to produce clams.

Was this some sort of joke depending on a regional name for fagioli dall'occhio? or is there some other explanation?

I hope there is an easy answer.
 
  • Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Hi, Thomas
    I suppose here fasolaro was intended as an adjective — much probably derived from the noun fagiolaio / fagiolaro = man who sells peas or usually eats a lot of peas. Something like: "Paderno-town-of-peas".
    I concur it has nothing to do with clams, anyway.

    As to why exactly the locals took offense at the name, I have no idea.
    EN-Wikipedia: Paderno Ponchielli reads: "[the name] was considered as a possible source of mockery in neighboring communities" due to its association with black-eyed peas, but provides no further explanation.

    I've only found an ancient popular definition of fagiolaro as somebody who is a slug and has dubious sexual orientation, but the page lacks any source and may not be related to the area of Paderno at all, so don't take my word for it.
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    [...]
    I suppose here fasolaro was intended as an adjective — much probably derived from the noun fagiolaio / fagiolaro = man who sells peas or usually eats a lot of peas. Something like: "Paderno-town-of-peas".
    I concur it has nothing to do with clams, anyway.
    Hi Starless,

    Thank you very much for taking this on. Yes, I could see that people might resent the suggestion that they did nothing but produce, consume, and dream of cowpeas.

    But how has fasolaro shifted to fagiolaio? Wouldn't the pronunciation of the two be so distinct as to calm the fears of the good citizens of Paderno.
     

    Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    how has fasolaro shifted to fagiolaio? Wouldn't the pronunciation of the two be so distinct as to calm the fears of the good citizens of Paderno.
    Users form the North of Italy will certainly help better, here.
    Fagioli (Italian for beans/peas) changing to fasòli or similar (in some northern dialects) or to faciòli (in and around Rome) are just a few examples I'm pretty sure of.
    Same for the suffix -aio changing to -aro, which is quite common in many regions of Italy. :)
    Also consider that dialects were the only way most people spoke in post-unification Italy, back in the 19th Century.

    EDIT: actually, the spelling shift from latin to italian was the other way round: s to g (I can't discuss this further on this forum, though ;))
     
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