Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Family Tree: Oh, Boy

File:Arbor-scientiae.png

Listening to decades' old family gossip about people you don't know is actually very entertaining. More so, however, were the names that followed the scandalous, silly, heart-breaking, and often so unbelievable-they-can't-be true stories. I got lost in a labyrinth of Josés and Antonios but eventually managed to dig up the little golden nuggets of naming amazingness that our family history was hiding. I actually didn't have to dig very far. All I had to do was ask 'What's howling guy's name? He's related, right?' Needless to say, howling guy (he likes to howl for no reason, as you might've guessed) is my mum's cousin's son, and he does have an interesting name: Amilcar, pronounced Ah-MIL-ker. 

Just two quick points about Portuguese pronunciation: Firstly, an 'M' at the end of a name is more often than not pronounced as an 'N' is in English. This is the case with Serafim, which is pronounced SE-rah-feen. Secondly, if an 'S' is followed by a vowel, it is often pronounced as a 'Z'. For example, Elisio is pronounced Ee-LEE-zee-oh. There is an exception in the list below, Anselmo


Abelino

Alexandrino 

Almiro

Alvaro

Americo

Amilcar

Amouri

Anastor

Anselmo

Antero 

Armindo 

Arrelindo

Baldemar

Bernardino 

Candido

Cardoso

Cassio 

Casumiro

Celestino

Claudino

Delfim

Elisio

Esaltino

Ezabelino

Mamed

Maxemino 

Narcisso - Portuguese for daffodils

Nascimento - Yep, he is indeed called 'birth'

Nicolau

Norberto 

Orácio

Ozorio

Quintino 

Rufino

Seberino 

Serafim

Valter

The last name created a bit of a debate. My aunts were split as to whether his name was spelt Valter or Walter. The confusion arises because a 'W' is often pronounced as a 'V' in Portuguese. To settle the matter, I took a poll. Valter won 5 to 3. Anyways, that's it from my family tree. I hope dedicating two blog posts solely to names from my family doesn't seem self-centred. I just thought it would be fun to give these forgotten names - some of which are very, very old-fashioned and facing extinction - some attention, and I had a blast doing so.

Image: Arbor Scientiae.