one good eggcorn deserves another

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Dec 12 04:13:57 UTC 2004

>So "mano a mano" is often understood as "man on man" (or hence
>something like "face to face") rather than "hand to hand".

Perhaps originally with some influence from "'mano" = "hermano" = "brother"?

>But what we also increasingly find is that "mano a mano" turns into "mano y
>mano" ....
>There are 4880 google hits on "mano y mano", a few from Spanish
>preserving the compositional meaning  (e.g. "entre mano y mano"), but
>mostly from English with the contexts indicating at least one
>reanalysis has taken place, if not two.

There does seem to be a Filipino martial arts technique billed on the
Internet in Spanish as "mano y mano": e.g.:

I don't know whether this designation has any special implication; but
there are also "espada y daga" and "daga y daga" techniques ("espada" =
"sword", "daga" = "dagger"), so maybe "mano y mano" means "two empty hands"
or so. If so "mano y mano" would be similar to "[combate] mano a mano" in
Spanish in the sense "unarmed [combat]", wouldn't it? I disavow any close
acquaintance with Spanish. A quick glance at big Spanish dictionaries shows
only "de mano a mano" = "directly"/"from hand to hand" or so.

-- Doug Wilson

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