Glossary of New Mexican Spanish (1934) (part one)

Scott Sadowsky lists at SPANISHTRANSLATOR.ORG
Sun Mar 23 06:42:59 UTC 2003

On 2003-03-22 09:11, James A. Landau wrote the following:

> > cocedora...cook
> > cocedor...pot
>sexist.  "cocedor" literally is "cooker".  Masculine is the pot, feminine
>is the cook.

What's sexist about making the grammatical gender of a word correspond to
the biological sex of its referents?  Considering the era in question, NOT
doing so would be about as logical as not assigning "Catholic priest" the
male grammatical gender.

> > mulas (slang)...crutches
>obvious borrowings of two meanings of the English word "mule", namely
>[...] a kind of footwear

There's just about no way this was borrowed from English.  The RAE's Corde
corpus has examples of its morphological sister, "muleta", with this same
meaning, from before 1500, and Mark Davies' Spanish corpus has examples of
it from the same time period.

> > 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"

This survives in the form of a distant relative, the Valencian "paella".

> > raspa...strawberry ice; sherbet
>one would expect this to be rasp-berry sherbet, not strawberry

It's almost certainly derived from the verb "raspar", 'to scrape', and has
nothing to do with the source berries ("fresas" or "frutillas", depending
on the dialect).

> > 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

This is not a reversion but a fossil.  There are a few terms like this that
survive in just about all of the Americas (e.g. "fierro" instead of
"hierro") and which sound tremendously quaint to (European) Spanish ears.

There's a far stronger tendency to conserve the initial f- in Jewish
Spanish (AKA Sephardic Spanish) and certain other dialects, such as NM/CO
Spanish.  What these dialects have in common is that they became isolated
at an early stage (Sephardic as of 1492, when the Jews were expelled from
Spain), while the f- to h- shift was incomplete.

>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

"Tocino" is what it's called in much of the Americas, but I've never seen
this food in Chile, ever; I suspect it may be one of those things that
became generally known through the movies or TV.  In Spain, it's allegedly
called "beicon", an obvious borrowing, but I can't vouch for that.


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