Fancella is practically unique, Fancelli is typical of the Tuscan, Umbrian, Lazio, Fancello, typically Sardinian, and in particular of the Nuoro area, Fancellu is more specific to the Sassari area, Fanciullacci is typical of the Florentine, Prato and Pistoia, Fanciulli is specific of the Grosseto, Sienese, Viterbo and Roman area, Fanciullini, very rare, is from the Sienese area of Arezzo, Fanciullo is typical of the Salento, of San Pietro Vernotico in the Brindisi area and, in the Lecce area, of Botrugno, San Cassiano, Giurdignano and Salve. additions provided by Stefano Ferrazzi The origin of these surnames is to be found in the medieval name Fanciullo, which, together with its archaism in Fancello, was born as a variant of the more common Fante (see Fanti): from the etymological point of view, in fact, the terms fancello and child consist in a diminutive of the term fante, deriving both from the contraction of the word phantasy (which, at first, gives rise to fancello and then, through a popular corruption, to child). As far as the surnames in question are concerned, therefore, it is a matter of the surnames of the personal names of the founders, even if in some cases a derivation from nicknames attributed to them is not excluded; as claimed by Mr. Milani (see FANCIULLETTI), moreover, it is not unlikely that these names were attributed to foundlings, precisely because they lacked a first name.
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