E. Z. (verrucaria) wrote in linguaphiles,
E. Z.

An Extremely Odd French (or Italian??) Name - Gaudioce?

There is a given name that pops up once and again as I look through old photos inherited from my husband's maternal grandfather's side of the family. Gaudioce also happened to be husband's grandpa's middle name although he wasn't very fond of it.

The grandpa in question was half Sicilian and half French-Canadian, but Gaudioce strikes me as more French (and I know less than nothing about his Sicilian roots anyway; all the family names I've encountered in the photos seemed pretty damn French)... Judging by the photos, the French-Canadians hailed mostly from the Montreal area although they'd already had a southern New England presence as early as the 1890s.

Googling Gaudioce hasn't been very helpful, and French Wikipedia hasn't helped either. It doesn't seem to be much of a name... The Google results suggest that it might be a Latin word, or at least the phrase cum gaudioce pops up a couple of times, but I don't know anything about Latin, except that it's a pretty darn inflected language. I guess someone might've decided that they liked the Latin word and just named their kid that, but I don't know how likely that would've been.

Of course, though, alternate spellings of Gaudioce could exist that would render it quite a common name. I don't actually speak a word of French (or of Italian)... Spanish is the closest.

Husband's grandfather has been dead for over 10 years, and I'd never even met him, nor do I know any relatives who might know how/why the name Gaudioce came to be used in the family... (I suppose the fact that my husband and I eloped did limit my chances of meeting distant in-laws.)

So if anyone here has any ideas about the name Gaudioce, my idle curiosity will be eternally grateful!

EDIT: Just so that no one thinks I made Gaudioce up, here's a link to a scan of one of the old photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ice_weasel/2489461091/ And the photo suggests that this is already in Massachusetts. Gaudioce Rivard would've been the photographer's name, but maybe they took a photo of, say, their cousin? Or maybe they kept the photo because one of the subjects was someone they'd cared deeply about or something like that?

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