Any "Eye-talian" linguists?

Pinocchio. Someone told me that that is Italian for “pin oak,” from which he was presumably fashioned.

Any verification?

I doubt it. All I can remember is that “occhio” is the italian word for eye.

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.
Henri B. Stendhal

I put “pino occhio” into and got “pine eye.” Then again, Babelfish isn’t exactly the foremost authority on foreign languages. For “pin oak” I got “quercia del perno.”

I don’t know if this helps but the italian “pignola or pignolia” nuts are from the stone pine tree.

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

WAG: “pin” as older latinate root (as in pinto) for colored or painted, elided for pin’occhio.

Yes, it isn’t Italian, but check the history on Italian usage and you’ll see a good deal of linguistic incursions, from Provencal to Spanish…

It’s definitely “pine”. I don’t think the “occhio” is intended to mean anything – just an affix to make a “name” out of a “word”.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Didn’t find to much by way of an answer. BTW, in case you have forgotten (as I had), here’s how P. came about: “What name shall I give him?” [Gepetto] said to himself; “I think I will call him Pinocchio. It is a name that will bring him luck. I once knew a whole family so called. There was Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children, and all of them did well. The richest of them was a beggar.”

Oddly enough, Pinocchio “comes into the picture” only in chapter 3 of the story.

In Italian pino is definitely pine, and occhio is without a doubt eye. But, as Omniscientnot points out, Geppetto assigns his work the name Pinocchio because he knew a whole family of people named thus.

In Italian different word endings give an emotional signature to a word. For example, take the word cat: gatto. You can have a “gattaccio” which is rather negative (evil and ugly), and you can have “gattino” which is positive (cute and small). There aren’t rigid rules on word endings and the name Pinocchio might be a result of this.

The piece of wood that Pinocchio is fashioned from is referred to always as exactly that–a piece of wood.

Pinocchio actually appears in the first chapter, as a piece of wood that begs not to be struck too hard when a schoolteacher endeavours to make a new leg for a side table. He is named by Geppetto when the piece of talking wood is brought to him in chapter 3.

I have searched the Italian web and I can’t find any explanation of the name “pinocchio”. Sorry.


“For what is myth, but the deconstructive prose of a missing literary critic who lisps?”
–Harry Harrison

Arrggghhhh! I’m so stupid not to have thought of this before! What’s the Italian for that feature of wood which in English is called a “knot”? I have a good size I/E dictionary, but it doesn’t answer that.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

I thought it meant “little wooden head”?