Re: Shtetl vs. Dorf #general

Evertjan. <exxjxw.hannivoort@...>

jewishgen@... (Jules F Levin ameliede@...) wrote
on 04 Feb 2017 in soc.genealogy.jewish:

Nice piece, Alexander. For the record the exact equivalent of shtetl in
Italian is borghetto, often shortened to "ghetto". The foundry
explanation for the Venice ghetto is a bobbemaysa perpetuated by the
Venice tourist agency, in spite of the fact that there are borghetto's
and ghetto's all over Italy, some of them indeed former Jewish ghettos.
For example, Goricia on the Slovenian border, still preserves the gate
that locked the Jewish ghetto at night.
Nice idea, but I am not convinced.

Folk-etymology can work both ways, so the spelling- [and pronounciation- ?]
change >from 'Gheto' to Ghetto could be influenced by the diminuative
'borghetto'. [Is there any doubt that there was a foundry on the island?]
Other etymological novelles suggest it to be >from the nuptial 'get' or >from
'Egitto' [Egypt].

Indeed there are many Jewish ghetto's al over Italy,
like there are many Giudecca's [Jewish quarters or islands].

The Venetian name-usage however seems to be two centuries older that the

However the early sequestration of the Jewish quarters started out as not
unique, other [non-Jweish] quarters also were closed at night, and also
whole fortified towns were closed at night all over Europe [far into the
19th c ce], so travelers needed to use inns [also (in-) enclosed for
safety!] outside the gates when arriving at night.

Btw, the old-west of Amsterdam is called "de Jordaan" folk-etymologically
from the river Jordan, but the Jews concentrated in the old-east and in
earlier times there were "moestuinen" [vegetable-gardens] there inside the
defended city, so the word more probably came >from the French "jardin" [Eng.
garden, Du. tuin].

Evertjan Hannivoort.
The Netherlands.
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