Vidal?
Is Vidal pronounced vy-dell or vee-doll? Or some other way?
Tags:  Vidal
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Vidal is a French name in which Vi- rhymes with see and -dal rhymes with pal. You'll find the anglicized pronunciation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gore_vidal
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In USA the Vidal immigrants could be mostly of Spanish or Portuguese descent. Italian and French immigrants bearing are extremely rare.
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While agreeing with the above I just want to mention a former colleague of mine of this surname, who pronounced it to rhyme with sidle. He was a Jamaican living in England, so the pronunciation may have been modified in some English speaking areas.
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It is also a venetian and "friulano" surname coming from North-eastern Italy. Another variant more italianized is Vidali. In fact Vidal is a regional variant of italian surname Vitali. Vidal surname is strongly influenced by local dialects.
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I agree with you about the italian origin of Vidal (pronounced Vee-DAL). It is a typical venetan and friulan last name and it usually comes from a dialect pronunciation of italian Vitale - much more common throughout the whole country.In some cases, however, Vidal and Vidali seem to come from an italianization of slavic Vidaliæ, most of all in Friuli Venezia Giulia: as it frequently happened in this area of Italy, a lot of slavic last names (slovenian and istrian for example) got italianized and dropped the suffix -iæ, resulting in a much more italian-sounding family name - a similar example is Pauli, that in the area of Trieste is an italianization of slavic Pavliæ (from which also Pavlich and Paulich). Anyway, Vidaliæ itself does most likely come from the name Vidal, corresponding to italian Vitale.
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Gore Vidal claims that his earliest known ancestor resided in the Trento region in the 16th century, and that his ancestors spoke Romantsch. Of late however he has been searching for evidence of a Sephardic Jewish origin. Vidal was adopted by Spanish Jews as a substitute for Chaim, a Hebrew male given name meaning "life".
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Oh I didn't really know Gore Vidal's ancestors resided in Trento (North-Eastern Italy) nor that he might have a Sephardic Jewish origin.
Both of these two pieces of information sound very probable if you put them together, since in Trentino region lived an important Jewish community. Plus you can find further information on the Jewish origin of Vidal/Vitale last name in http://www.ancestry.fr/facts/Vitale-family-history.ashx. It was a regular practice within the Jewish community to adapt their names and last names to the ones of the country they lived in: in Italy, for example, last names such as Benedetto, De Angelis, Leone, Pace, Vitale, etc do also belong to Jewish-Italian families and they usually come from a translation of a Jewish name: for example, Jewish-Italian last name Pace is a translation of Jewish Shelomo or Shlomo (Solomon in English), literally meaning 'peace' ('pace' in Italian).
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