I just read in a resource on Commedia dell'Arte that the female lover was often called Isabella or Zerbinette. I am wondering where Zerbinette could have come from. It seems to me like possibly an old pet form of Sabine?
It's probably from the French Commedia performances, given the -ette ending.
Edit: Yes, it appears to be French, as it appears in one of Molière's plays that were influenced by Commedia, as a second-tier lover.
--------------- "I knew I should create a sensation," gasped the Rocket, and he went out.
This message was edited by the author on June 10, 2008 at 5:10:14 PM