Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 11 15:12:47 UTC 2006

Ron writes:
>Larry's point about a mistranslation is surely correct, but wouldn't the
>original form just be SCALLOPINE MEXICANA (etc.) without the
>It seems to me that MEXICANA is just an adjective modifying the preceding
>noun. I find, for example, in a Google search PIZZA MEXICANA, Beef
>Mexicana con
>Pappas, la mole mexicana, etc.

could be, but if it's always feminine--not just in the (la) pizza
case--I think that's because the "mexicana" itself would be a
shortening of "alla mexicana", which it turn would be a shortening of
the "alla moda mexicana".  Otherwise, we'd expect an equal number of
"mexicano", "franceso", and such.  Which would then allow for
"SCALLOPINE MEXICAN GUY".  (As for the "la mole mexicana" case, that
would involve another reanalysis--given that it's "mole poblano", the
Spanish original must be "il mole", not "la mole", which would yield
"mole mexicano" rather than "mole mexicana" if this were an adjective
modifying the preceding "mole" rather than the understood "moda".)


>In a message dated 5/10/06 3:58:36 PM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:
>>  At 3:18 PM -0400 5/10/06, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>  >>Greetings again from Santorini. From various beach restaurants here:
>>  >>...
>>  >>HAMBURGER MEXICAN WOMAN--One restaurant had all three of these.
>>  >>"Mexican Woman"??
>>  >>
>>  >This is a lovely eggcorn--a (mis)translation of "alla mexicana" or "à
>>  >la mexicaine" or some such cognate, I'd wager.  The feminine ending
>>  >is of course originally for an adjective modifying the feminine noun
>>  >"style", but it's been reanalyzed as if the "Mexicana" were a
>>  >feminine noun.
>>  >
>>  Of course the reference to "style" is mistaken; that's a masculine
>>  noun.  The understood nominal modified by "mexicaine", "française",
>>  etc. must be something like "mode", "manière", or "façon".  My bad.
>>  (This doesn't affect the general diagnosis of Barry's menu items
>>  above.)
>>  LH
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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