[Ads-l] Mano a Mano

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 29 09:14:46 EST 2016


Not sure what this is a response to, but we’ve discussed the reanalysis resulting in “womano a womano”.  The claim (from me and others) is that “mano a mano” has been reanalyzed by English monolinguals to mean “man to man”, giving rise to “womano a womano”.  I’ve never encountered “mana a mana”, and if I did I’m not sure I would have assumed it referred to women’s hands as opposed to men’s hands.  If you don’t know Spanish and thus don’t know what a “mano” is, I don’t know that one would assume the gender varies with the sex of the hand’s possessor, especially since no other body parts inflect for gender in any other language I know of.  If anything, I’m guessing that “mano”/“mana” would be treated as faux-Spanish for “man”/“woman”, with no hands involved.

LH  

> On Dec 29, 2016, at 1:56 AM, Brian Hitchcock <brianhi at SKECHERS.COM> wrote:
> 
> 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:   https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__dictionary.reverso.net_spanish-2Denglish_mana&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=M7uND-97iEZqoHKvJ4picC3Pue3NNzrTmjfDEjRdNv4&s=w7QpvlvWzt_oDXn9EMQ9ZHd7dQcTGiM3I0IwLKbzsJo&e= 
> 
> 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 - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=M7uND-97iEZqoHKvJ4picC3Pue3NNzrTmjfDEjRdNv4&s=X-nN-_N7upru5_FXxJCA7NCCTvwkjS7o35LV2ldhhx8&e= 

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