Alessandro De Angelis

Etymology and history of a word. The Roman «cascherino» ‘delivery boy (of the baker)

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Informations and abstract

Keywords: etymology of Romanesco lexicon; Roman carnival; cultural stereotype in Renaissance Rome

The Roman word cascarino (later cascherino) has been found as early as 1765. A link with cascare ‘to fall’ (< *casicaˉ re) is possible considering that the profession of baker in Renaissance Rome was particularly common among German workers. The carnival mask of the cascarino represented this delivery boy covered in white flour and with a small glass of wine. Indeed, a traditional stereotype, from the Middle Ages onwards, depicted Germans as drunkards, and in walking as drunkards do they most likely fell (hence the origin from cascare). Such characteristics were so peculiar that the mask of the cascarino ended up representing a drunk person

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