Glossary of New Mexican Spanish (1934) (part one)
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Mar 22 14:11:57 UTC 2003
In a message dated 03/20/2003 5:13:02 PM Eastern Standard Time,
Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:
> abogadito...smart alec
"abogadito" is the diminutive -ito applied to "abogado", which is Spanish for
"lawyer". The diminutive generally adds a connotation the the item is cute,
endearing, etc. Conversely the augmentative generally adds a connotation of
unlikeable, obnoxious, etc. For example, from "madre" ("mother") we get
diminutive "madrina" (godmother, "hada madrina" is "fairy godmother") and
augmentative "madrastra" ("mother-in-law").
Hence "abogadito" could be "cute little lawyer"
> aguas frescas...soft drinks
perhaps the source of the name "Fresca" for a diet soft drink
sexist. "cocedor" literally is "cooker". Masculine is the pot, feminine is
> cuatrojos (slang)...little boys who wear glasses
contraction of "cuatro ojos", literally "four eyes". Independent coinage or
translation of the English expression?
> frijol verde...string bean
literally "green bean"
> gallina de la tierra...turkey
diminutive of "gallo de la tierra", "chicken of the land", somehow converted
> mula (slang)...whiskey (white mule)
> mulas (slang)...crutches
obvious borrowings of two meanings of the English word "mule", namely white
mule and a kind of footwear
augmentative of "naranja" ("orange", both the color and the fruit)
> pando...stuffed from overeating
compare "Sancho Panza" ("Sancho with a paunch")
> Pg. 25:
"la papa" is "(white) potato", "el papa" is the Pope, as a certain Florida
T-shirt maker discovered. "dulce" is "sweet" so we have the question of
whether the Spanish or the English was the original. OED gives no clue.
> pastilla...money given by padrino at a christening; chocolate candy
"padrino" is "godfather"
> pinta (slang)...penitentiary; prison
literally "painted". Columbus's ship was nicknamed "Pinta" either because it
was gaily painted (perhaps "painted lady"?) or as a pun on the name of the
family which owned the ship.
> piscapo barbon...cat-fish
"barbon" means "bearded"
> poliada...food made for sick people
> puela...saucepan; frying pan
both appear to be forms of a verb "polar" which I am not familiar with but
which could mean "fry or cook in a pan"
> pura uva (slang)...fine; all right
> raspa...strawberry ice; sherbet
one would expect this to be rasp-berry sherbet, not strawberry
> stufador (estufador)...stove
phonetically interesting. Spanish "eschews" consonant clusters beginning
with /s/ by inserting a vowel before the /s/ if necessary, as in "espeak
espanish". Here it would seem that the speakers have acquired the Anglo
phonetic habit of allowing a word to start with /st/ rather than requiring
> trompeta (ponerse una)...to get drunk
literally "to put a trumpet on oneself"
> fongo for hongo...mushroom
an odd reversal of a long-standing Grimm's Law change in Spanish, in which
initial "f" gets changed to silent "h", e.g. Latin "facere" --> Spanish
> tortilla...very thin pancake; kind of bread
A Puerto Rican told me that in Puerto Rico "tortilla" means not a thin
wrapper but rather the kind of pancakes that you buy in La Casa Internacional
de las Panqueques
jamon de almuerzo...bacon
literally "breakfast ham". The same Puerto Rican was unable to give me the
Spanish word for "bacon", which suggests that US-style bacon (the stuff that
is cut into strips) is not widely known outside Anglo areas of the US
It says something (I don't know what) about American cuisine that no European
language has a native expression for Lord Sandwich's invention.
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