A Blog By Any Other Name…

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the origin of the name of my blog lately. Maybe others are also wondering where it came from and are just too shy to ask. Or, most likely, you haven’t given it any thought at all and couldn’t care less about my creative process.

No matter. You’re all getting an answer right now. And we’re going back to when I first moved to Italy in 2003.

I’m a journal-keeper by nature, and so it was only logical that I’d be recording my experience of making a new life in my family’s old village. Remember this was around the time of Under the Tuscan Sun, and I was thinking about at some point organizing my experiences and observations into something larger, which for the sake of argument, we’ll call a book.

So I brainstormed some names for chapters and came up with “Mozzarella Dreams,” (this because I had recently had nightmares on two separate occasions after eating mozzarella in the evening; the chapter would be about food habits); “Questi Uomini” (“these men”; chapter to discuss the culture of machismo); “The Young Girl and the Sea” (talking about my aversion to the beach despite living so close to it); and (I bet you saw this coming) “Bleeding Espresso” (about the coffee-drinking habits around here, including the no cappuccino other than first thing in the morning “rule”).

But that still doesn’t really explain where I got the phrase from, so stay with me here.

Bleeding Espresso” first came to mind because when I was in college, there was a rather flamboyant football player who was always good for an entertaining quote. One day he let loose with: “I believe if you’d cut me, I’d bleed Duke blue.”

It immediately became a catch phrase among my friends and me because it was so over the top and hilarious. I mean, I like my alma mater and all, but that’s a little excessive. Surprisingly, it’s not as out there as I thought because when I just did a quick Google search for the phrase “bleed Duke blue,” I got 5 pages of results. And none of them were said by this particular athlete.

In any event, that phrase has always been somewhere near the surface of my consciousness, so when it came time to chapter name, I wanted something along the lines of espresso, cappuccino, and the like. I thought about just how much coffee people drink here, and that probably even I at this point would bleed espresso if I were cut.

So I scribbled “Bleeding Espresso” on the inside of a manila folder where I kept random tidbits that I wrote, brochures from travels, etc., and there it sat for a few years.

And then one fateful December night, I got the inspiration to blog, but I drew a complete blank on a name. I thought and thought for a couple days until it occurred to me to go back to the beginning of my Italian travels quite literally.

I went to the folder, and Bleeding Espresso was born. The tag line below it came a few moments later, and my name “sognatrice” (“dreamer”) came from the “Mozzarella Dreams” phrase.

So now you know.

38 Beans of Wisdom to “A Blog By Any Other Name…”
  1. Karen

    I’ve always thought that it was one of the coolest blog titles I’ve heard… I’m glad I now know the story behind it.

  2. Kaffeebohne

    I had a good laugh while reading ‘under the tuscan sun’.
    I’m a coffee addicted so I think I also would bleed coffee when I get a cut. Realy cool blog name. My blog name is Kaffeebohne which means coffeebean in english. My blog is a food-blog.

  3. Sara

    Ha! I read the “bleeding espresso” part awhile ago and relate to it strongly, because I’m always telling people that I drink so much coffee I bleed brown. I didn’t know the meaning of “sognatrice,” though, and it’s a lovely word.


  4. Femminista

    You went to Duke? My brother and SIL did, too. I wonder of you were there at the same time–1993-1997?

  5. Ambra Celeste

    I also love the name of your blog. I didn’t know the cool story behind it, but I guessed the meaning. I have said for years about my love of coffee: If I can’t drink it, better hook me up to a coffee pot via IV. So, yeah…I love “bleeding espresso”

  6. Wendy

    Thanks for sharing your story…I love your title. I’m afraid I wasn’t very creative when I came up with mine. I was in too big of a hurry to just start blogging.

  7. sarala

    Good story about the name. I like it. I think I once posted about how I named mine (less original) but now I forget. It came in the nature of a silly ditty: “Blogaway into the wild blue yonder. . . “

  8. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    I love your blog name. What a great idea to let us know how you came up with it (it’s so great I might have to “borrow” said idea. ha).

    How is your book coming along?

  9. Kaffeebohne

    Upps, I mixed up ‘under the tuscan sun’ with the book by Dario Castagno ‘too much tuscan sun’

  10. Nadine

    I like the name of your blog. It was nice to meet you during the party. I will be back.

  11. Waspgoddess

    Ah, I have wondered but figured you’d probably divulged the secret some months ago and that I was too late to be let in on it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would certainly not bleed coffee of any kind since I never drink it, but since I arrived in Sweden yesterday I may bleed a drop or two of snaps if I got a cut ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your kind words re my dad. I really appreciate it.

  12. BecsLifeOnline

    Haven’t you posted the meaning of your name (but not in so much detail) before now though? Either that or I’m psychic because I knew this already!

  13. kate5kiwis

    hello from new zealand:
    yes, i dream of living in tuscany… just popped on over from the party prize page: congrats girl!!!!!!!!!

  14. Jeff Gromen

    I can identify with your blog name because before I moved to Italy I NEVER drank coffe. Now I’m on 3 to 4 cups a day.
    I want a cool name for my blog. I was going to call it “A Day without Pasta” because I wrote in my journal once. “Today was the first day in Italy that I didn’t pasta at least once!”


  15. JennDZ

    Well just keep it comin!
    I posted a comment in your 100 list, but I realize you wrote it like 3 months ago…oops! It was just too great, I had to say something!

  16. Shan

    I’ve always thought you had a great blog name and I loved reading how it came to be. It’s funny I had just been thinking that very day about writing the same post. I put mine up on Sunday.

  17. sognatrice

    Glad you all enjoyed learning about the name–but no, Bec, I didn’t discuss it before…you know me *too* well ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Femminista, I was at Duke from 1994-98, so just about the same time as your brother and sister-in-law.

    Kaffebohne, I have to find that book you mentioned; I’ve heard it was rather funny ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kate, thanks for letting me know I had won something–I completely forgot to look!

    Jeff, I really like your potential blog name–and I so identify with it!

    JennDZ, thanks for both of your comments ๐Ÿ™‚

    And for anyone who hasn’t shared how they named their blog, do tell!

  18. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Love the name, thoroughly enjoy the blogs, and the look! YAY coffee beans and warm colored tones!
    Aren’t ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, and coffee ANYTIME (especially iced…)and Italy and writing (especially in journals) the best? the best. yes. Must admit though… I LOVE the sea. Sorrento is a 4 day stop on the two+ week escapade by train through Italy that I am planning.
    I wonder sometimes just how incriminating my journals will be to me someday. Hmm.
    Sognatrice… how honest are you with yourself when you write in your journals?
    I’ve found that I always give myself the best advice in them, I just never follow it. Which makes for anguished and lamented writing later, of course.



  19. sognatrice

    Scarlett, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ In my journals, I’m exceedingly honest–and yes, the hardest part is following all the great advice I give myself in them. Your trip sounds wonderful!

  20. grace

    I like the title of your blog as well. Definitely unique!

  21. kailani

    Very creative. I wonder what I would bleed? Probably chocolate! hee hee

    BTW, thanks for stopping by!

  22. sognatrice

    Grace, thanks!

    Kailani, well for me if it wasn’t espresso, I think it’d probably be chocolate too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. modelbehavior

    Hey, I’m a huge Italo-phile and I love your blog (and your title). If you want to check out my site here below are links to some of my favorite stories from when I was living in Milan! I’m linking up to your site, hope that’s ok – cheers! – mb


  24. sognatrice

    Modelbehavior, thanks so much for your visit and comment–I have been reading through your site on and off all day. So glad you found me ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. ChristinaG

    I enjoyed hearing how you came up with your blog name. I spent a week working in Calabria and loved it. Definitely my favorite part of Italy (so far at least). I look forward to reading more great posts from you! Cheers!

  26. sognatrice

    Christina, what a coincidence–Calabria just so happens to be my favorite part of Italy too ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


    it’s a great name ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. sognatrice

    *winerak, grazie ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. 06.11.2008

    loved the name, i also love the Mozzarella Dreams, sounds like american dreams. by the way I enjoy reading your blog.

    Cheers from the Philippines ๐Ÿ˜€

    Eligio’s last blog post..Busby SEO Challenge Clarification and Update!

    Thanks! So happy to have you here ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Thanks for sharing your storyโ€ฆyou created a great blog title. Not to impressed with mine, but guess i will just stick with it….

    Yeepage Blogging Tips’s last blog post..WordPress 2.6 is liveโ€ฆ

    Thanks; if you’re not happy with yours, though, perhaps you should consider changing? Life is too short to be unhappy ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. 03.28.2009

    Fun!OUr daughter went to Carolina, now I have scored points, I know, but she thinks she bleeds C-Blue. I on the other hand went to another Carolina school, and her dad went to Cincy. So we are all confused around here! Thanks for the insight. Ciao!

    Ellenโ€™s last blog post..Rainy Days….

    Hah, too funny! Glad you enjoyed the explanation ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. 03.31.2010

    your blog is so nice.
    I like this blog.


  33. 06.17.2010

    Thank you, very interesting.

    Thank you for checking it out, Elisa ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. 05.15.2011

    and as Paul Harvey Sr would have said; “and now you know the rest of the story…..”.



    Thanks, Richard!

  35. 05.16.2011

    would rather bleed espresso, I think I bleed paint (house paint not the more romantic artistic paints)
    ciao for now

    I can appreciate that, Lisa ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. 05.17.2011


    Love Sognatrice too =)


  1. [...] an intriguing name for a blog andย you will know the reason behind it in one of her favorite posts: A bl... sandierpastures.com/contests/blogosphere-generosity.html
  2. [...] As for my blog name, I’m going to cheat a bit in my answer and send you to a blog post I wrote abo... thiseclecticlife.com/2008/08/11/is-she-really-bleeding-espresso
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake