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La fortuna dei nomi: una testimonianza d’autore (Carlo Dossi) sulla ricezione dei nomi personali

Francesco Sestito


The literatures of every age and country abound in proper names created by authors, but for a writer to take onomastics (especially anthroponymy) as the actual subject of one of his works is exceptional. An interesting example of this is the short essay, La fortuna dei nomi, by Carlo Dossi (1885), presented as a letter in which an imaginary uncle gives his nephew advice on the choice of name for an unborn child. Dossi comments, with great sensitivity and irony, on several anthroponyms (some names are regarded as too common, like Giuseppe or Carlo, other as ridiculous, embarassing, or even unpleasant). The paper provides an insight into the average semantic reception of personal names, showing that this has remained largely unchanged in almost a century and a half.

Parole chiave

Carlo Dossi; reception of personal names in the nineteenth century.

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