There’s a famous apocryphal name story that goes around, that some woman named her kids Lemonjello and Orangejello. Heh.
Ah, but apparently that’s just the way we Anglos hear it. Monjelo or Monjolo is the actual Spanish surname name, which gets accessorized into LeMonjelo. There are Monjelo Islands in Uruguay, for instance, and a place called Monjolo in Madeira. I won’t hazard a derivation, because Spanish placename stuff can be very hard to guess (I blame the Visigoths); but it’s probably Mt. Something. Here’s a young gentleman named LeMonjelo Spinks.
This placename possibly led to some similar Italian surnames, mostly from the Milan area: Limongello and Lemangelo (rare); Mongello, Mongiello, Mangello, and Mongelli (not too uncommon), and the clan of the seventies Italian-American singer Peter Lemongello, who appeared in The Godfather and ran a national TV ad campaign to sell his records, becoming the first singer to sell a million records on TV. “Li” is another particle here, I suspect, as in “licorne” — the horn, aka “unicorn”.
As for the other, it’s not Orangejello at all. It’s spelled Horangelo or Orangelo, meaning “Hour of the Angelus”! (The Angelus is a Catholic prayer which is said three times a day.) It’s a rare Italian name as well as a Hispanic one, and probably was originally given to babies who popped out while the Angelus bell was ringing and everyone was praying — drama, no? Right now, there’s some kind of Venezuelan soccer player running around named Horangelo Varela, for example, and there was a 1930’s Italian guy named Horangelo Petruccio over in New Jersey.
So to sum up: These could be and are Hispanic names. But it’s most plausible to think that an Italian family might name their kids Lemongello or Orangelo (avoiding the Hor- of the original spelling, for perfectly obvious reasons). Orangelo might also have come into black families through ancestors or acquaintances from the Caribbean or Hispanic countries. Anyway, there’s nothing to mock in these perfectly good names.
Whether or not those names were ever given together by any family is beyond the bounds of this study, but they are definitely real names. But it’s possible that, even if the original story of both names together was apocryphal, that people might have been inspired to name their kids both names by the story!
Search of the US Social Security Death Index:
43 people with the last name Lemongello.
22 people with the last name Limongello.
3 people with the first name Orangelo.
Nobody dead yet named Horangelo.🙂
UPDATE: Well, pooh. I have just been duplicating this fellow’s work.
UPDATE: I have added “Limongello” references, thanks to Mike in the combox. Also, the anime Vandread apparently has a character named Barnette Orangelo. She’s the green-haired one. Also, etymology of “Mongello” from ancestry.com.
UPDATE: “Limoncello” is apparently a surname as well as a drink. Who knew? So now we have another data point, thanks to the wonderful combox folks! There are five Limoncello family members in the Chicago area, and an Illinois officer from WWII, buried in Manila, who also bore that name. Some of the other surname spellings we’ve found may derive from this name. But the Italian-Americans spelling their last names “Limongello” and “Lemongello” vastly outnumber the “Limoncello” clan, almost a hundred to one. That’s just the way it goes when surnames hit America.🙂