Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Putting Fabiano in His Place

Meet Fabiano.

He swears he’s the one Italian who likes Americans, and he thinks it’s downright quaint how little you and your friends know about this region of Italy. Have you been backpacking long? From what tailor do you get your clothes that have so much writing on them? Oh, yes, he’s been to California, and he’s heard that you’re very proud of your wine. It’s important that you have some pride, no matter where you’re from, he says. Then Fabiano points out that it’s probably better than you don’t try and pick up a little Italian while you’re in the country. He doesn’t think your American mouth could do it justice, but you’re certainly speaking English loudly enough. Is it true you’ve never used a bidet?

And this whole time, you’re standing there, fully aware that Fabiano doesn’t have the highest opinion of you and your culture and your apparently obvious Americanness, but you have one bit of information to hold over him. Fabiano and other names in that family — Fabio, Fabian, Fabiana, Fabiolaall mean “bean.” Like fava bean, which, by the way, means “bean bean,” or the rather unflattering adjective fabiform, “bean-shaped.” And though you keep it to yourself, there’s just something magical in the fact that completely undercuts any notions of culture or superiority you might have about some Italian schmuck named Fabiano.

Aw, you know what? Fuck it. “You know your name means ‘bean,’ right? Did you know that?”

Etymology, previously:

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