Local Language: Forms of Address that are Disappearing



To the Peasant: Cumpari. Zu, short for ziu, unde.

To the farm superintendent: Su, from Sor, abbreviation of Signor.

To the middle class man: Gnuri, from Signore.

To the artisan: Mastru, from Maestro, Master.

To the Priest: Patri, from Padre.

To the townsman: Don from Dominus, which means Signore.

To the townswoman: Donna from Domina, Signora.

To the artisan’s wife: Maistra that is Maestra.

To the farmer’s wife: Cummari, the Woman that holds at the baptism.

To the middle dass wife: Gnura, from Signora.

To the middle class woman, married or not: Signurina.

When calling out to someone or when the name is not known, one says: Amlcul Cumpari! A Vossia! Vossia, from Vostra Signoria [Your Lordship] – Voscenza, from Vostra Eccellenza [Your Excellency].

The expression: Passatu o passata di outturn, is attributed to a man or woman (bachelor – unmarried) of advanced age ([in Italian] scapolone-zitellona), Gidrra, large oil vase.

Quartdra, quartaruni, quartaredda, bummulu, bacareddra, lemmi, ‘nziru, are day vases for water, whose names originate from Arabic and Carthaginian.

[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: https://www.amazon.com/History-Poggioreale-Sicily-1640-1956/dp/1072403374/ ]