- the "velme"
does the character known as "Vögl
delle velme" take his name? "Vögl"
clearly means "old man" (in the Ladinian dialect of
Livinallongo, or "Fodom"), and this corresponds to Wolff's
description. And the "velme"? Wolff translates them
as "green alder-trees" (ted. Grün-Erlen),
and, as a matter of fact, the correct meaning of the Fodom word
results to be just this
one. However, "old man of the green alder-trees"
is apparently meaningless. As I describe elsewhere
in the site, according to prof. Palmieri's
wife it seems that at Selva di Cadore this word meant "sheaf"
or "haystack": from this interpretation I derived a
possible connection with the ancient smelting ovens, as their
shapes are quite alike.
for Alessandro Manfroi's help, who is well acquainted
with the dialects of the Agordo area, and also took a part in
compiling a small Bellunese-Italian
dictionary, and here is what he has collected on the subject:
in the dialect of Cadore is a tow made of leafy branches (usually
of fir-tree) used to carry logs or hay downslope, to the plain
or to a “karegador” (that may be a sledge
or a cart).
the middle-southern dialects of the Agordo area, but also in those
of Rocca, Laste and Colle St. Lucia, we find the same meaning
of the word, but it is widened to consider the "velma"
as a "conical stack of hay". Moreover, we find a few
secondary semantic implications.
acquires, in these geographical areas, the meaning of "big
quantity of something" - hence locutions like “usuraria
me n’ho karegà ‘na velma”, an exclamation
meaning that you have got overloaded with something..
in former times, field surface areas were also calculated according
to the number of hay measures they yielded, velma
also acquires the semantic acception of a unit of measurement
of surface area. In this sense, it becomes a multiple of the “kalvìa”.
all above, it can be derived that velma
carries a semantic connotation somehow connected with a large
quantity of hay, with a lot of it, or with a large-sized field.
All considered, its interpretation may then be stretched to a
meaning of "plenty", or, in a way, of wealth. "
the way is open towards a second interpretation of the Vögl,
i.e. "old man of the wealths", like Marco Polo, who
in his late life was nicknamed "mr. Marco Millions";
and we might attribute to the old man an origin even farther South
than the Livinallongo. But we still should collect some more precise
confirmations about the ancient dialect of the Fodomi
and of their close neighbours in the val Fiorentina.