…my great-great-grandfather worked on the railroads with a bunch of Italians. Being an Italian in North America at that time was not exactly a great thing, but it was a heck of a lot better than being a French Canadian. So, when Coutu was pronounced lightly as “Cootchyu”, some of the railroad guys thought it was “[C]ucci”. And my great-great-grandfather just went along with that. This makes sense to me because of the discrimination against French Canadians.
As late as the 40s or 50s, my grandfather was mistaken for being Italian—something he gladly accepted. One day, a guy asked him something about Italians and my grandfather said he was actually French Canadian. The guy said, “Me too!” And my grandfather said, “Since when is McCready a French Canadian name?” And the other guy said, “It’s Mercredi. You think I’m going to say something if they think I’m Scottish?!”
I absolutely love that story and had to share it at once.