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

Jan Ivarsson TransEdit jan.ivarsson at TRANSEDIT.ST
Sun Mar 23 19:54:56 UTC 2003 has

"The first mention of actual glasses is found in a 1289 manuscript when a member of the Popozo family wrote: "I am so debilitated by age that without the glasses known as spectacles, I would no longer be able to read or write." In 1306, a monk of Pisa mentioned in a sermon: "It is not yet 20 years since the art of making spectacles, one of the most useful arts on earth, was discovered."

Another quote, :

"The first known artistic representation of eyeglasses was painted by Tommaso da Modena in 1352. He did a series of frescoes of brothers busily reading or copying manuscripts. one holds a magnifying glass but another has glasses perched on his nose."

In my original message dated 03/22/2003 10:59:00 I said:
"It is more likely either a loan from Italian or an independent creation."
To me it seems more likely that the Spanish-speaking New Mexicans (or Mexicans or Spaniards) would have found the word in another Romance language than that they translated a rare English word. But as I said, of course they are as capable as the English of inventing it themselves.

For Italian loan words in English, I do not think that etymologist would agree with you. Not talking about terms from music or the arts, I can quote some:

Alarm   From the Italian, "All'arme" -- "To arms!"
Ballot  Italian term for "small ball or pebble" used for voting
Bankrupt   Italian "banca rotto" - the bankers broke their table when they were ruined.
Cantelope   From "singing wolf." It seems the melon was first grown in a town in Italy called Cantaluppi
Carnival   Literal meaning: "Flesh, farewell." The "val" ending does not derive from Latin "vale". Modern Italian "carnevale" comes from Old Italian "carnelevare"; levare = raise, put away, remove.
Chapel   From the Italian "Capella," Italian for "Cape," because the the original Chapel was where the cape ("capella") of St. Martin of Tour was kept.
And so on.

As for Italian loan words in Spanish, it is not for me to have an opinion - I am not Spanish-speaking - but the fact that a large part of Italy for a long time (1442-1799 with some interruptions) was governed from Spain speaks rather strongly for such loans.

Jan Ivarsson

----- Original Message -----
From: <RonButters at AOL.COM>
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2003 5:40 PM
Subject: [ADS-L] Re: Glossary of New Mexican Spanish (1934) (part one)

> If "Foureyes" is an Italian family name, does it not precede the general use
> of eyeglasses? At any rate, "four eyes" as a nickname for somebody who wears
> glasses does not take a lot of imagination. Surely persons speaking Mexican
> Spanish in New Mexico in 1934 were quite capable of making this mental leap
> on their own, without having to borrow it from Italians living in Spain and
> Mexico. It seems highly unlikely that it would have been borrowed as a calque
> into Spanish AND English from Italian--which has not been, relatively
> speaking, very productive as the source of English (and Spanish?) loan
> translations). Without some pretty explicit evidence to the contrary, the
> idea of an Italian source hardly seems worth pursuing.
> In a message dated 3/23/03 5:34:47 AM, jan.ivarsson at TRANSEDIT.ST writes:
> > Maybe not in New Mexico, but certainly both in Spain and in Mexico, long
> > before 1934.
> > I find the word also in
> > : CUATRO OJOS o cuatro
> > lamparas.- Persona que usa anteojos.
> > Jan Ivarsson
> >

More information about the Ads-l mailing list