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The italian version of the name game. Only minus the rhyming.
September 8, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

What does my last name mean in Italian?

I was on with a customer service operator last week with a similar name to mine and hers, Chiara apparently meant "soft"

What does Chiorando mean in italian?
posted by rileyray3000 to Grab Bag (21 answers total)
 
According to this foreign language dictionary, the word 'Chiorando' is not Italian. It lists some similar options.

Just because you name sound similar to Chiara doesn't make it an Italian word.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:11 AM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd be surprised if "Chiara" really meant "soft." More like "bright" or "clear." But IANAknow-it-all so I wonder if anyone else has a comment on this point.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:19 AM on September 8, 2008


Well thats good news!

Thanks for the site...oddly enough my last name is kinda related to that as well...
Raso
posted by TeachTheDead at 11:21 AM on September 8, 2008


If you look up ancestry records for that surname, nearly all the given names are Italian. I tried numerous dictionaries and couldn't find a translation, and I don't know much Italian, I did find some possible variations (Chioranda, Chiorandi) which may just be errors.
posted by mkb at 11:21 AM on September 8, 2008


It could be a variant of Giordano, which is the Italian equivalent of Jordan. (Just a guess, I don't actually know anything about this.(
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:26 AM on September 8, 2008


chiaro / chiara doesn't mean soft but comprehensible in Italian iirc.

As far as Chiara goes: I know it's the Italian version of German "Klara" which is based on Latin "clarus", which means brilliant, gleaming. Which again comes close to Italian "chiarore", which means gleam, shimmer, which again is the closest thing to your name I can think of.
posted by starzero at 11:39 AM on September 8, 2008


... and - I don't know Italian, but some other romance language stuff - isn't it a participial form? That is, in plain language, the "-ando" ending is equivalent to a "ing" ending in English.

starzero says that "chiarore" means "to gleam" or "to shimmer." In which case "chiarando" means "gleaming" or "shimmering." Again, I don't know Italian, but I'm fairly certain that's the case.

Also, keep in mind the pronunciation. In Italian, "Chiorando" would be pronounced with a hard "k" sound at the beginning, as "kee-oh-RAHN-doh."
posted by koeselitz at 11:47 AM on September 8, 2008


-ando suggests the gerund form of a verb. I wasn't able to find the verb 'chiorare' in a dictionary, but the noun 'chiarore' is a glimmering or a brightness, so perhaps your name means 'twinkling' or 'glimmering'.

Ah, Starzero beat me to that.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:49 AM on September 8, 2008


What does Chiorando mean in italian?

it doesn't mean anything. Chiara does -- it's usually a first name, for females; it can also be a last name -- see for example the late novelist Piero Chiara. "Chiaro" (chiara is the feminine) is an adjective means "clear", also "light colored". Chiorando doesn't mean anything -- it'd be the present gerund of the verb "chiorare" if "chiorare" were a verb. it isn't.
posted by matteo at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not Italian.
posted by Zambrano at 12:18 PM on September 8, 2008


Not Italian.

Yes, it is Italian, for fuck's sake; a few seconds googling should convince you of that. In case it's not blindingly obvious already: not all family names make immediate sense in terms of the language involved, or are to be found in a dictionary.

Beyond the fact that it's Italian, which you already know, we can't help you; you need to contact someone who's done research on the family history. I suggest you start with this person.
posted by languagehat at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think matteo has it.

starzero says that "chiarore" means "to gleam" or "to shimmer." In which case "chiarando" means "gleaming" or "shimmering." Again, I don't know Italian, but I'm fairly certain that's the case.

I don't know Italian either, so my ideas mean as much as yours here, but guessing that "chiarore" + "ando" = "chiarando" is making big assumptions with the way Italian Grammer works, it seems to me.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2008


Well I'd actually kind of like my name to mean "shimmering" or "gleaming." But I appreciate the leads. This is all pretty interesting.
posted by rileyray3000 at 12:48 PM on September 8, 2008


There are multiple misspellings in these posts, of both the name and of various Italian words. The name according to the OP is "Chiorando" and it is not apparently based on any extant Italian word.

It might be a corruption of something meaning shimmering or gleaming, but that's speculation to be confirmed by research.

Languagehat, Zambrano - It's an Italian name, just not a meaningful Italian word.
posted by JimN2TAW at 12:56 PM on September 8, 2008


According to Wikipedia, chiaroscuro means light-dark in Italian. It's a painting technique using shading and contrast.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 1:10 PM on September 8, 2008


It might be a corruption of something meaning shimmering or gleaming

I'd bet money that it isn't. That's not the way surnames usually work.

Look, it's useless to speculate based on the current shape of the name (chiaroscuro??); it could perfectly well be a dialectal or archaic form, or it could be an Italianized version of a foreign (Germanic, Greek, Albanian, Slavic) name. Guessing is completely useless. The only way to answer this question is by consulting a reference work (Dizionario ragionato dei cognomi italiani by Michele Francipane or I cognomi italiani by Emidio De Felice, for example) or checking with someone who's done (reliable) family research.
posted by languagehat at 1:40 PM on September 8, 2008


This map shows name frequency in Italy. Your name appears in six towns.
posted by charlesv at 4:22 PM on September 8, 2008


Check the "World Names Profiler" for stats/facts on your name.

I just checked and it does say its Italian, along with a lot of other info you'll probably find interesting.
posted by batmonkey at 4:39 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


it's, dagnabbit.
posted by batmonkey at 4:40 PM on September 8, 2008


Chiorando: no meaning in Italian, and it's a very rare family name: according to a quick search on this site (type the last name in the small form on the left) there are just six communes with people with that surname in Italy (compared to some 50 people in NY alone: emigration was like that).

Seeing the area (Piedmont, Liguria) the surname seems to be originating, a wild guess might be it's from some proven├žal/french root (might be for instance courant, "running").

Another extremely wild guess: a corruption from Latin (de)clarandum "to be stated", meaning that in some parish records, someone was registered with an unassigned family name, which "should have been added later" (if ever).
posted by _dario at 5:21 PM on September 8, 2008


The process of check-in by Ellis Island clerks, who were overworked and careless, resulted in a lot of surnames being misspelled on the legal documents, languagehat. Lots of Italians came through Ellis Island and got their names all messed up.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:28 AM on September 9, 2008


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