What origin does the last name Gargasoulas sound to you?

By: | Post date: 2017-01-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Ah yes. Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas, man who two days ago stabbed his brother for being gay, drove off with his pregnant girlfriend hostage, did donuts in the central intersection of the Melbourne CBD, then sped off with the cops in pursuit, and plowed into a shopfront, leaving four dead and tens injured.

2017 Melbourne car attack – Wikipedia

The (misspelled) Dimitrious already gives his name away as Greek: “However, the suspect claimed to be “Greek Islamic Kurdish” in his Facebook posts.” The Greek press is identifying him as ethnic Greek: Μελβούρνη: Αυτός είναι ο ελληνικής καταγωγής οδηγός που σκόρπισε τον θάνατο [εικόνες & βίντεο] .

The name was unfamiliar to me, and in fact it’s confused the Greek media, who have been transliterating it back into Greek as either Γαργάσουλας [ɣarˈɣasulas] or Γαργασούλας [ɣarɣaˈsulas]. There’s no such surnames on Google: the surname matching on Google is Γκαργκάσουλας/ Γκαργκασούλας [ɡarɡasulas]. For instance, Ο Γκαργκασουλας ανακοινωσε τον νεο συνδυασμο! refers to a Kostas Gargasoulas who is a councillor in the Argolid.

It’s not a Hellenic-sounding name, especially with the hard g. I’m finding hits of the surname online in the Argolid, Arcadia, and Boeotia, so my guess is it’s Arvanite (ethnic Albanians who settled in central Greece in the Middle Ages).

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