Have they ever said “oh dawg!”? In Florence dawg has a very specific meaning. Maybe the rest of Italy is not a known word, so if a Florentine tells you “oh you’re dawg!” It means that you are appealing as a person not capable of doing his interests, a naive, one little smart. But do not be offended, it un’intercalare facetious, half-way between the offense and the hoax. In the words of Curzio Malaparte, “The Florentines are the only people on earth who have heaven and hell in the eye in the mouth”.
The word dawg has crept into many idioms Florentines. E ‘often hear:
“Oh! That you prick!” indicating the ingenuity in managing their own interests by the interlocutor, and if there is a lot of confidence “Vaia bischerone!”
You often hear the exclamation: “Pe ‘bischeri no paradise”, (meaning they never find peace) or “Three times bono vol’ dawg!” (Meaning that to be too good pass you by jerks), or “having the quarter-hour of the prick” (living a moment of sheer stupidity) and again “between pegs s’annusano” (signifying that little crafty you gather together) and still “go to prick loose” (that is, to behave foolishly without reason) and finally “for the ‘sick man is bowed but pè the’ dawg is a medicine” (meaning that if a man is dawg it is a lifetime).
The word dawg is derived from a surname of a Florentine family note, I Bischeri.
The Bischeri were a Florentine family with a great economic and political importance in medieval Florence. In Florence you find the Bischeri since mid-1200 as both merchants and landowners as well as holding various public and religious figures including including some 15 priories and two Gonfalonieri of Justice.
The Bischeri family had their home and many possessions in the area between Piazza del Duomo and Via dell’Oriuolo, now known as the “angle of Bischeri”.
Why surname Bischeri has become the butt of jokes and then commonly used word in the interlayer Florentine?
Around 1294 the Florentine Republic began a mammoth project, the construction of the Cathedral. The ancient cathedral dedicated to Santa Reparata had become too small for the city of Florence and the Signoria wanted to replace it with something that would represent worthily Florence. Today, in fact inside the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral you can visit the excavations begun in 1966 and completed in 1972 that allow access to the remains of the ancient cathedral.
This project needed to clear the area from neighboring buildings present, buildings that were acquired by the Dominion. Many of these properties were the Bischeri family, which saw an increase in value of the area refused the offer several times Signoria money.
It is said that by dint of haggling did lose patience with the Florentine government in which not only reduced and modified the intervention area by excluding many of the properties of Bischeri family, but also decided to expropriate the few remaining properties by paying with a few florins ‘compensation. It is also said, but it is unclear whether it is true, that some of these properties were destroyed by a fire maybe not entirely natural.
The Bischeri family for this event had a financial meltdown, but even worse surname Bischeri became the object of ridicule and derision by the people and still takes on the meaning of the period described.
Maybe the incision placed on the right of the side access door, the one near the Bell Tower, which says a dedicated etching to the Bischeri Family is yet another joke!
The blow was so strong that the family abandoned Florence Bischeri moving first in Romagna and then to France where he made his fortune again. The family pride was so strong that they decided to come back to Florence, and 200 years later, but not before he changed his name to earnings, among other things, they wanted to take up residence in the same area that was of their ancestors in Palazzo Guadagni whose angle right is just the corner Bischeri.