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Title: Identifying people by nicknames : the case of Rabat, Malta
Authors: Micallef, Luke (2018)
Keywords: Nicknames -- Malta -- Rabat
Nicknames -- Malta -- Rabat -- History
Names, Personal -- Malta -- Rabat
Maltese language -- Etymology -- Names
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Micallef, L. (2018). Identifying people by nicknames : the case of Rabat, Malta (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: This study aims to demonsrate the origin and use of nicknames in general, focusing on the Maltese Islands, with a specific reference to the Rabat area. The author researched different documents in order to compile a list of family nicknames used in Rabat during the 20th century. In order to attain this objective, the researcher carried out interviews with people in relation to their family nicknames enquiring about their origins in order to draw up a number of family trees. A study of the origin (birth) of particular nicknames from Rabat was also carried out. Nicknames were placed under different headings according to the type of nickname (e.g. Nicknames originating from Personal Names, Surnames, Locations, and Physical defects). The main research tools were of a qualitative nature, through interviews that brought out the feelings and reflections of persons involved, as well as through documents, namely contracts from the notarial archives, school registers, and church records. Nicknaming is not a popular subject which is researched and studied by many historians. This research used published information to compare the foreign scene with the local scenario regarding nicknaming and nicknaming practices, focusing mainly on relevant examples from the Rabat area. The Rabat area was selected, since the author believes that the nicknames in this locality are still frequently used to this very day. A limitation to the study may be associated with the restricted availability of local articles available on this subject. This limitation was addressed through a more consistant emphasis on one-to-one conversations with locals whose nicknames are of high relevance to them. In this regard answers to questions such as, “Why did the Maltese feel the need to use nicknames?”, “Why do the Maltese feel that a nickname gives them identity?” and “Why do nicknames stick to a particular family for decades, and in some cases for centuries?” were tentatively addressed. A further aspect which was studied for the purpose of this dissertation was the use of nicknames in literature. It is a feature which is characteristic to novels and short stories dealing with the social environment of Maltese villages. Another source of study with regards to the use of nicknames as identification of persons was the news bulletins reporting incidents concerning certain individuals.
Description: M.MALTESE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMS - 2018

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