Carla Maria Sanfilippo

Food anthroponymy in Ferrara in the early 14th century

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A significant proportion of personal names in the Middle Ages were inspired by nutrition: names and nicknames of popular origin that metaphorically describe the appearance and character of the individuals, their tastes in food or their wish to have wealth and prosperity. This paper proposes sixty-five «food names» taken from a document from 1310 in which the citizens of Ferrara swear loyalty to the Holy See. For each name, the paper examines the form's linguistic aspects, its diffusion and vitality over the area, in relation to the onomastic coeval context.


  • political and historiographical vocabulary
  • historical semantics
  • anthroponymy


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