monatto

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Italian[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Lombard monatt, of uncertain origin.

Noun[edit]

monatto m ‎(plural monatti, feminine monatta)

  1. (historical) During the 17th and 18th centuries, a person who removed corpses during a plague, usually in Milan.
    • 1827, Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed (in Italian):
      Bisognava ogni giorno sostituire, ogni giorno aumentare serventi pubblici di varie specie: monatti, apparitori, commissari. I primi erano addetti ai servizi più penosi e pericolosi della pestilenza: levar dalle case, dalle strade, dal lazzeretto, i cadaveri; condurli sui carri alle fosse, e sotterrarli; portare o guidare al lazzeretto gl'infermi, e governarli; bruciare, purgare la roba infetta e sospetta.
      They were obliged every day to replace, every day to augment public servants of various kinds: Monatti, Apparitori, Commissioners. The first were assigned to the most painful and dangerous services of the pestilence: taking from the houses, from the streets, from the Lazzaretto, the corpses; transporting them on carts to the ditches, and burying them; carrying or conducting the sick to the Lazzaretto, and overlooking them; burning, cleansing infected or suspected goods.

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