[Ads-l] Mano a Mano

Brian Hitchcock brianhi at SKECHERS.COM
Thu Dec 29 06:56:25 UTC 2016

In Spanish, body parts do not change gender depending on the gender of the person. That's why you can't say "mana a mana" to mean "hand to hand".

"Mano" is a feminine noun (despite ending in O).  
One says "las manos"  whether referring to a man's hands or a woman's hands, or any combination of them.

Actually, there are three separate Spanish words, all spelled (what might look like) "mana". None of them means "hand".  

Since special characters don't always come through in postings, I will explain:
Mana  (no diacriticals)		1. Spring  (Latin American)
				2. manna
Mana  (accent on last A)	manna

Mana  (tilde on N)		a skill or a trick 

So I suppose if you used the latter, you could be describing a match-up of skills or tricks. Between people of any gender.

Source:   http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/mana

On the other hand, Spanish for "arm" is "brazo" which is masculine whether referring a man's arm hand or a woman's arm, or one of each.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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