cirujeo (Argentina)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by k-in-sc, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    "Cirujeo" means sorting through refuse for useful items and recyclables. I'm wondering if there's another term for it besides "trash-picking" or "garbage-picking." Thanks for your comments!
     
  2. donbeto

    donbeto Senior Member

    Vancouver (Canada)
    Eng (Canada)
    Would "dumpster-diving" do the trick?
     
  3. Raquel8 Senior Member

    USA English
    Castellano de Uruguay, básico
    If they are picking through for items to sell, like certain metals, I would use recycling.
     
  4. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    No, a lot of times it's going through bags of garbage left on the sidewalk, mostly for recyclables but also for salable items and even food.
     
  5. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    Hola:

    No sé, quizás: garbage rummaging/diving ​(?).

    Añado la definición del DUE por si a alguien le sirve (aunque tú ya lo has explicado):
    Un saludo.
     
  6. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    ¿Qué tal "rag-picking"?
     
  7. txpaddler Senior Member

    Texas
    United States - English
    To scavenge is another option.
    He was seen scavenging through the trash.
     
  8. Alisterio

    Alisterio Senior Member

    Mexico City
    UK English
    Interesting! I didn't know that there was a word for this outside of Mexico (here the verb is "pepenar"; the person is a "pepenador"). I would agree with trash-picking or scavenging (the latter has a slightly derogatory tone, to my mind, but is used quite a lot).
     
  9. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    "Scavenging" could be good.
    I've never heard "pepenar." What is the derivation?
    I knew "cartoneros" but not the more dignified-sounding "cirujas" until now.

    "Ciruja es la palabra que el lunfardo utiliza, sin reparos en trazar una similitud entre la labor de estos buscavidas y la de los cirujanos, "por aquello de revolver con hierro", explica un diccionario. Como el médico con el bisturí, el ciruja "opera" la basura hasta encontrar algo que le sirva para subsistir."
    http://www.lanacion.com.ar/316594-el-cirujeo-se-convierte-en-trabajo-informal

    "Rag-picking" sounds Dickensian :)
     
  10. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    A question: isn't scavenging too formal? And are my suggestions incorrect (I know now that they are not appropriate)?:)
     
  11. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    As does most of my English, I guess... :D
    By the way, I had never heard of "cirujeo" until now ("cirujeo" the noun; of course, I know what a "ciruja" is...).
     
  12. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    "Scavenging"/"scavengers" doesn't sound formal to me, just not very specific about what they are scavenging.
    "Rummaging" doesn't take a direct object, it takes "through." "Diving" requires a container (normally a Dumpster/dumpster).
    Andoush, do you see any difference between "ciruja" and "cartonero"?
     
  13. Andoush

    Andoush Senior Member

    Patagonia - Argentina
    Spanish (Arg)
    For me there's a slight difference between a "ciruja" and a "cartonero"; the latter might have a very humble and rickety home in a villa miseria but has an activity of sorts and earns a little income; he is not necessarily a bum. A "ciruja", in my mind, is a homeless person who might scavenge in order to find clothing or food but not necessarily to re-sell his "goods". I think the connotation is different, ciruja being more negative. Having said all this, it would be interesting to know if other Argentines feel the same way. This might just be my very own personal interpretation. ;)
     
  14. cacarulo

    cacarulo Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina * Español
    Lo escribo en español porque me resulta más sencillo.
    (Con los niños vecinos llorando incluso en español me cuesta :()
    El ciruja originalmente -comienzos del siglo XX- también vendía lo que comerciaba: en este caso, huesos de los animales faenados. De ahí su nombre: ciruja es un apócope de cirujano (creo que puede entenderse la relación entre los huesos y los cirujanos).
    Creo que con el tiempo esa palabra y sus derivados (yo sí he oído el sustantivo cirujeo) fueron tomando la connotación que dice Andoush, y cuando se hizo masiva la actividad de los cartoneros (año 2000, aprox.) era más apropiada una nueva palabra, por ese cambio en la connotación y porque ya no comerciaban con huesos, sino con cartones y papeles.
    Acá les dejo los dos pimeros enlaces que salen en Google cuando uno busca "cirujeo". Los dos son de 2001.
    http://www.lanacion.com.ar/316594-el-cirujeo-se-convierte-en-trabajo-informal
    http://www.mercedesya.com.ar/notici...-la-basuras-causan-secuelas-irreversibles.htm
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  15. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Chicago
    Spanish - Uruguay
    De acuerdo. Ciruja es más despectivo que cartonero. Y en Uruguay, 'hurgadores'.
     
  16. Moritzchen Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Spanish, USA
    I like scavenger.
     
  17. Alisterio

    Alisterio Senior Member

    Mexico City
    UK English
    The DRAE gives it as "Del náhuatl pepena, escoger, recoger" (náhuatl being the language spoken by the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples).
     

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