Irish & Italian Affinity

What is it about Irish & Italian intermarriage, as to why it's so common (at least traditionally)?

I myself am the result of such an intermarriage, as are all my cousins on my Irish mother's side (cousins on my father's side are 100% Italian).

It can't be due to the common religion (Roman Catholicism) alone, because there are many ethnic groups who are part of Catholicism.

Does anyone have any ideas on why it is that there's such an affinity between the Irish and Italians?

All ideas welcome!

Irish and Italians were the

Irish and Italians were the two most predominent ethnic groups immigrating to Canada and the US during the nineteenth century which may offer a possible explanation.

I've read of a high percentae of Irish-Chinese intermarriage in NYC during the same time period, as well as a predominance of Irish-German unions.

Perhaps the ethnicity with which the Irish intermarried the most, but goes relatively unnoticed, would be Scots. Then again, Scots are really Irish, the Scottish Isle of Barra and the Hebrides first being colonized by Irish.

That may be the essence of the idiom that "We're all a little bit Irish.".

MicOnTheNorthShore

MicOnTheNorthShore wrote:

Irish and Italians were the two most predominant ethnic groups immigrating to Canada and the US during the nineteenth century which may offer a possible explanation.

I've read of a high percentage of Irish-Chinese intermarriage in NYC during the same time period, as well as a predominance of Irish-German unions.

Perhaps the ethnicity with which the Irish intermarried the most, but goes relatively unnoticed, would be Scots. Then again, Scots are really Irish, the Scottish Isle of Barra and the Hebrides first being colonized by Irish.

That may be the essence of the idiom that "We're all a little bit Irish.".

MicOnTheNorthShore:

Thank you for your thoughts and insights. You may be right about these ideas on immigrant history (I'd never specifically researched it), but it's certainly something to consider.

I still have the sense that there's something more to it, however, when it comes to Irish & Italians specifically - perhaps certain characteristics each ethnic sub-culture has in common.

Again, thanks for your thoughts!

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