Foglio's Field Notes

Leif Utne's random rants, musings and meditations

What’s in a nickname?

with one comment

Foglio, by the way, is a nickname a college friend gave me after she discovered in her Italian class that the word means “leaf.” My name, Leif, is typically pronounced like “lafe” (in Sweden) or “life” (Norway and Denmark). But my parents chose the Americanized “leaf,” to make it easier for linguistically-challenged Americans to pronounce. Accordingly, I’ve suffered a lifetime of plant-based put-downs and terms of endearment.

I’ve been called much worse than foglio — leaflet, twig, branch, lettuce, hoja (Spanish for leaf), even shrub (which I gladly ceded to W). But I like the ring of foglio better than all my other vegetable monikers, especially when it’s pronounced properly in Italian — with just two syllables, as FOAL-yo — rather than the Anglicized three-syllable version I usually hear — FO-lee-o. I even chose foglio as my first handle on AOL, oh so long ago (thankfully).

It’s also the last name of a pair of excellent artists from Seattle, Phil and Kaja Foglio, who I actually encountered a few times in my college days, back in the early ’90s. The very same friend who dubbed me “Foglio” was also a close buddy of Kaja’s. In fact, she recruited Kaja to draw a caricature of me for the campaign flyers I handed out when I ran for student government at the University of Washington in ’92. I think I have a copy lying around somewhere. If I can find it I’ll scan and post it here for all to see.

Considering the Kaja connection, I guess there may have been more to my friend’s choice of the nickname than her eureka moment in an Italian class 15 years ago. Frankly, no one really calls me foglio but her, on the rare occasions that we see each other. So there you have it. You’re in on our little secret. Let’s keep it between you and me, okay?

Written by leifutne

June 8, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Me

One Response

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  1. Bush is forever saying that democracies do not invade other countries and start wars. Well, he did just that. He invaded Iraq, started a war, and killed people. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
    Our country is in debt until forever, we don’t have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

    Antibush

    February 15, 2007 at 1:18 am


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