Adding the -o suffix: weirdo, kiddo, sicko, Johno, ...

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Vanda

Moderesa de Beagá
Português/ Brasil
Hello everyone,

I'd like to know which words I can add this "o" like in the examples mentioned
(weirdo...).
Any noun and adjectives? Is there a rule for this informal use?

thank you!
 
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I don't believe there is any specific grammatical "rule" for this construction. It evolved from everyday colloquial speech.

    "That kid is really weird. He's a weirdo."

    Kiddo is a diminuitive name for "kid," and is normally used only in direct address like a nickname, such as:
    "Hey, kiddo, what are you doing?"

    These two words are exceptions. We generally do not just add "o's" to any word in order to make a new word as those described above.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Originally posted by snipfer
    just try not to do it unless you want to sound as a redneck
    With all due respect, these words are common among all regions, at least of the US. They are certainly not unique to "rednecks" or any other US sub-culture.

    In the case of "kiddo" in particular, this is used by people from all regions, of all levels of intellect and among all social classes.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Isn't kiddo just a little bit insulting/ patronising/ provocative?
    Along the lines of "Listen, kiddo, you do that once more and I'll <insert physical violence threat of your choice*>!!"
    *I don't know any physical violence threats:cool:
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Originally posted by panjandrum
    Isn't kiddo just a little bit insulting/ patronising/ provocative?
    Along the lines of "Listen, kiddo, you do that once more and I'll <insert physical violence threat of your choice*>!!"
    It certainly can be used in that context - mobsters (or mean parents) in movies comes to mind.

    However, I have also heard it used very commonly as a positive expression.

    "Great job, kiddo."
    "Keep up the good work, kiddo."
    "Hey, kiddo, how's it going?"

    I guess it is all in the intonation, and of course, the context.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Right - so kiddo may be either an insult or a genuine term of affection - and it's all in the way you say it.
    That makes sense.
    Thanks.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    snipfer said:
    just try not to do it unless you want to sound as:cross: like a redneck
    With all due respect, it's bad enough that an 18-year-old sitting over in Spain somewhere thinks he knows a "redneck" from an outbreak of rubeola-- why this one thinks he's qualified as a maven of regional AE usage is beyond me.

    Plus he got it wrong, as others have pointed out. If you're not going to stick to what you know, it might be a good idea to give some indication that you know your suppositions are guesswork. That bit of humility makes it less offensive when you get things wrong.
    .
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    The "o" ending is not so exceptional as one may think. Those old enough to remember beatniks and even parodies of beatniks such as Maynard G. Krebs will smile fondly when they hear "Daddy-o". This term was in widespread use not so very long ago.


    Waiting for all the hep cats to offer more "o" words......
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I did almost say, "Maynard Krebs was a redneck?" By the way, I dropped a schmaltzy pseudo-C&W lyric in a post and cited "Bob Denver" as the singer, and nobody called me on it. Unless everyone got the joke and just nodded appreciatively.

    I can't think of any beat-era terms-- weirdo and daddy-o is about it. Unless maybe wacko qualifies. Pseudo-hippies carried it over with makeshift terms like freak-o. But I think the -oid suffix is coming into play instead-- android, bizarroid, Richard Hell and the Voodoids, etc. And baroque variants like "freakazoid." So humong-o becomes humongoid.
    The "Mondo" movies made for a rash of expressions like "it was very mondo-bizarro out last night."

    Tabloidese is a modern source-- Jacko, e.g.

    Also Coolio and I'm sure there are others.

    Otherwise, it was a trend with all sorts of 19th-century examples:
    pretty pretty peggy-o
    me bucko (or boyo)
    the raggle-taggle gypsies-o
    Adding -o to a word is a deplorable convention in B-movie doubletalk in imitation of Spanish and even worse, "native" pidgin dialect.

    There's also a tendency to adopt or coin words that end in "o" for cute or novelty words. Honcho, Bozo, gonzo, Bebe Rebozo.

    [why does this forum software increase the font size of cut-and-pastes in the dialogue box, and how do you correct it? I wrote this in 10-point on a WordPad page]
    .
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    The vBulleton software has some genuinely nuts-o quirks. Just ask the man from the water fence opening and his buddy-o Bebe. Did you really find Tricky Dicky-o's cohort cute?


    Highlight/select the text, change font size to "1".
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    To me, "kiddo" is more affectionate than disparaging - in general, of course.

    "Weirdo" is certainly used everywhere - and very commonly.

    I too am at a loss as to the purported regional variation. :)
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    cuchuflete said:
    Did you really find Tricky Dicky-o's cohort cute?
    I was talking about his cohort's wardrobe, and "novelty" was the word that applied. And if he'd known they were going to make such a big deal of him walking along the beach in his dress shoes, he'd've worn Bebe's rebozo himself, with huaraches.

    I did size the text down to "1" and that's what I got. The bracketed part was written directly into the dialogue box, in "preview post" mode. In other respects, this forum software is far superior to most, IMO.
    .
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    I have tried to think of more...

    Kiddo..is said to someone younger than you and who you think is cute (the pig-tails and freckles type)
    Wacco...Nutso...(missing a few fries from the happy meal)
    Pinko..used at one time to describe a communist..
    Daddy-o...(as the others have stated)..

    That is it for now o..
    tg
     

    Roi Marphille

    Senior Member
    Catalonia, Catalan.
    panjandrum said:
    Right - so kiddo may be either an insult or a genuine term of affection - and it's all in the way you say it.
    That makes sense.
    Thanks.
    yeah, David Carradine addressed Uma Thurman as "kiddo" in KILL BILL.
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In kiddo, the "o" has the effect of a diminutive, which can be affectionate or derogatory depending on context. I think it may have developed from boyo, which I vaguely recall having been told is Irish. (not sure on the boyo part, though).

    With weirdo, the effect is to make a noun from an adjective. Since the adjective weird already has a negative connotation in modern usage, the noun weirdo also has a negative connotation. In fact, "weirdo" has a much more negative connotation than "weird".

    Daddy-o is a diminutive. The word is positive, since daddy is also positive.

    Pinko (I've never seen it written with a dash, and do remember when the word was in common use) is a noun formed from an adjective, and since the adjective had a culturally negative meaning (sympathetic towards communism), the noun "pinko" (communist sympathizer) was also negative. Pinko was in fact much more negative than pink, since a "pinko" was always a concrete person, and "pink" could refer to an abstract concept.

    The part about the rednecks is ridiculous. Absolutely.

    As an aside, it's interesting to note that "redneck" has different meanings in different parts of the US. In the rural West, it generally means a person who lives in the country, i.e., not in a town. It implies a lack of culture only, and is often self-applied with a meaning of "not a city slicker". In the East and South, I understand that the term implies racism, which is surely not the case in the West.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Boyo, Irish? Not sure about that although it is often used as a (less than flattering) term for people from (South) Wales.

    In the North of England we often say meladdo to refer to someone whose name you either don't know or can't remember.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Mr Bones said:
    Does hairdo belong to the same list? Bones.
    No, Mr Bones, it does not. It is a contraction of hair and do.
    The final o of pinko et alia is pronounced like a Spanish o, while the final o in hairdo sounds more like a Spanish u.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The Irish connection is the other way round, of course - with the O' at the front, not the end - meaning grandson, or descendant of...

    ...and there's
    mayo,
    jello,
    sicko,
    deado,
    dodo,
    doggo
    ...

    Panj O'Pongo
    (Pongo pygmaeus)

    [Spot the fakes:) ]
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    The very very good point of this forum is that you always get so many
    info from all types of experts that it'll make me an expert too..;)
    Thank you all.

    I've seen this weirdo and kiddo used in affectionated terms too, not
    only derogatory, in sitcoms. Perhaps one may find it it weirdo I'm
    always mentioning the sitcoms, but as a teacher this is the real contact
    I have with the spoken language and students always make me this
    weirdoes questions in classes....
     

    Mr Bones

    Senior Member
    España - Español
    Vanda said:
    The very very good point of this forum is that you always get so many
    info from all types of experts that it'll make me an expert too..;)
    Thank you all.

    I've seen this weirdo and kiddo used in affectionated terms too, not
    only derogatory, in sitcoms. Perhaps one may find it it weirdo I'm
    always mentioning the sitcoms, but as a teacher this is the real contact
    I have with the spoken language and students always make me this
    weirdoes questions in classes....
    I learned the words weird and weirdo in Friends, so I agree with you. But I think it's weird questiones and find it weird, isnt' it? Bones
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    cuchuflete said:
    The "o" ending is not so exceptional as one may think. Those old enough to remember beatniks and even parodies of beatniks such as Maynard G. Krebs will smile fondly when they hear "Daddy-o". This term was in widespread use not so very long ago.


    Waiting for all the hep cats to offer more "o" words......
    Cuchu

    Come on! A beatnik revival ?! Who would remind of that? You! :)

    Just kidding.......
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Originally posted by Mr. Bones
    But I think it's weird questiones and find it weird, isnt' it?
    Yes. Weirdo usually only describes a person who is considered weird.
    "He is weird. He is such a weirdo."
    I have never heard weirdo used to describe inanimate objects.

    Originally posted by Te Gat-O ;)
    Wacco
    This is spelled as "wack-o" or "wacko."
     

    Papalote

    Senior Member
    Spanish, English, French
    Hello,

    Well, I'm not hep, but I do have an`o` word which drives me up the wall, rubs me the wrong way, and irritates me no end (to use a few slang ready-made phrases which somewhat describe how I feel :D ), every time I hear it, problemo, as in 'no problemo' (it usuallay sounds like, noooou problemooow). Anyone one knows how this originated and what is achieved by massacring two languages :confused: ? I don`t know why it should irritate me so much, but it does.

    Thanks,

    Papalote
     

    Mr Bones

    Senior Member
    España - Español
    Papalote said:
    Hello,

    Well, I'm not hep, but I do have an`o` word which drives me up the wall, rubs me the wrong way, and irritates me no end (to use a few slang ready-made phrases which somewhat describe how I feel :D ), every time I hear it, problemo, as in 'no problemo' (it usuallay sounds like, noooou problemooow). Anyone one knows how this originated and what is achieved by massacring two languages :confused: ? I don`t know why it should irritate me so much, but it does.

    Thanks,

    Papalote
    Hello, Papalote. I have never been in the US and I don´t know many english-speaking people. So, please, satisfy my curiosity, even if it's a bit morbid: Who speaks that way? Mr Bones.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Papalote said:
    Hello,

    Well, I'm not hep, but I do have an`o` word which drives me up the wall, rubs me the wrong way, and irritates me no end (to use a few slang ready-made phrases which somewhat describe how I feel :D ), every time I hear it, problemo, as in 'no problemo' (it usuallay sounds like, noooou problemooow). Anyone one knows how this originated and what is achieved by massacring two languages :confused: ? I don`t know why it should irritate me so much, but it does.

    Thanks,

    Papalote
    Hola Papalote,

    Obviously you and I suffer from the same malady...a strong allergic reaction to ignorance and insensitive displays of irritating idiocy.

    regards,
    Cuchu


    PS- I think of people who say no problem0 as dope-o's
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    GenJen54 said:
    Yes. Weirdo usually only describes a person who is considered weird.
    "He is weird. He is such a weirdo."
    I have never heard weirdo used to describe inanimate objects.

    "
    GenJen thank you for this explanation. I really thought it could be
    used for people and things and the reason is that of the "old mother language
    interference". In Portuguese we say esquisito (one translation for weird)
    referring to things and the same adjective for persons, thus my wrong
    conclusion.
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Papalote said:
    'no problemo' (it usuallay sounds like, noooou problemooow)
    This is a US slang usage that developed in the 70's. I believe it started in California. The meaning is simply "It's not a problem".

    It was formed as parody of Spanish, but it has no despective connotations, unlike some other phrases where "o" is added in imitatation of Spanish. I recall fluent spanish speakers who well knew that problem is "problema" say "no problemo" when speaking english. It was the style.

    The phrase has a aspect of emphasis, which accounts for the pronounciation you mentioned. It was always slang, and very informal.

    hth,
    estéfanos
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    GenJen54 said:
    This is spelled as "wack-o" or "wacko."
    And sometimes whacko, by assuming a (false) relation to "whack". Wacko is one of the "cowboy words" that entered English from Spanish in the US Southwest during the early-mid 1800's.

    Wacko is derived from "hueco" (hollow, as in hollow-headed).

    Other cowboy words are:

    cowboy (vaquero)
    lasso
    round up, rodeo (rodear)
    loco
    chaps

    This has been an interesting thread. Thanks, kiddo. (affectionate usage)

    ciao,
    estéfanos

     

    Mr Bones

    Senior Member
    España - Español
    Hi, estefanos. Could you bring me an example of the usage of wacko? Because I understood the meaning, as you explained it, but I can't imagine a sentence or a situacion or a dialogue. And I agree: this thread has been (or it's being) great. Bones.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Uhh-- I think "cowboy" is English. The word we got from vaquero is "buckaroo."

    Definitely worth a tangent, though, if not another thread-- -aroo and -arino words. That last one's a self-conscious or even self-mocking beatnik-era word it occurs to me that absolutely no one might know about. In fact I'm even having a mental block right now about -aroo words.

    The old switcheroo and "gimme a big smackeroo" are about it.

    Somebody pitch in!
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Mr Bones said:
    Hi, estefanos. Could you bring me an example of the usage of wacko? Because I understood the meaning, as you explained it, but I can't imagine a sentence or a situacion or a dialogue. And I agree: this thread has been (or it's being) great. Bones.
    Hi Bones,

    My understanding of the origin is "hueco en la cabeza" => "heuco" => "wacko".

    You can generally use "wacko" as you would use "crazy", generally with the softer meaning of eccentric, not thought-out, stupid, etc. you could say, for example: "that's a wacko idea", etc.

    When referring to persons, especially unknown persons, it can take the stornger meaning of crazy, "insane", as in "some wacko killed ...".

    Usually, though, it is used like "crazy" in it's softer sense.

    hth,
    estefanos
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    foxfirebrand said:
    Uhh-- I think "cowboy" is English. The word we got from vaquero is "buckaroo."
    Thanks, FFB, I'd forgotten about "buckaroo". I do believe, though, that both words came from vaquero. I think the English word prior to Cowboy was "herdsman".

    Cowboy came via translation, while buckaroo came via transliteration. Similar to "round up" and "rodeo", which both came from rodear.

    Prior to settling the West, one "drove" a herd. There was no need to round them up, because cattle were kept in fairly small fenced areas. An eastern farm of 60 acres or so was very common. Then the West was opened, and herds were tended on areas of public land that encompassed hundreds of square miles. Hence the need for a new word to describe a new (to the English language) activity. Since the Spanish were already there...

    Regards,
    estefanos
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Hola estéfanos--

    Well, I don't think it's possible to tell how ancient terms like "cow boy" and "goat boy" and "goose girl" are-- older than the English language itself, I have little doubt. My etymological source says it goes back to 1725 in England, which by no means implies it goes back only that far. Maybe Panj can find it in the OED. I'm sure when the Goths came swarming into Europe in late Roman times the job of moving the kine along was given to boys with sticks, as it was in Saxon England over 500 years later. What were these boys called? I'd say something meaning "cowboy" is a pretty safe bet. Cu knave perhaps-- we got "boy" from the Normans some time after 1066.

    Just because llanero means plainsman doesn't mean we got the word from Spanish. llano and plain are cognates, but we got our word from Medieval French, like so many that derive from the same Latin roots as Spanish words. The same ll- vs pl- shift from Latin to Spanish and French/English exists in wors like lleno, llorar and llover => plein, pleurer, pleuvoir => plain, [?duhh], deplore.

    The same kind of retro-fitting is inadvisable with roundup, which because it retains the "n" is not a Latin-derived word, but a Germanic one. We do have rod- words like rodeo from Spanish and rodomontade from Italian, and rot- words like rotary from the French, or rotunda from Latin.

    That said, there is a huge debt American English owes to the Spanish, and the Mexicans after them. And the influence continues. Bring it on, we can handle it!
    .
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    foxfirebrand said:
    The same kind of retro-fitting is inadvisable with roundup, which because it retains the "n" is not a Latin-derived word, but a Germanic one.
    Actually, i didn't say that round up was derived from a Spanish word in the same sense that rodeo was. Rather that it was translated into English from the Spanish word already in use in order to describe a new activity.

    The first cattle ranching operations were in Texas, which was Spanish at the time, and the first Anglos to arrive (Austin party, 1821) received land grants from the Spanish crown and were in return required to learn Spanish and convert to Catholicism. The type of ranching already being practiced in Texas was very different from the farms that had some cattle on them in the east. (Pork was the main meat in the USA until after the Civil War). Also, the land grants given to individual Anglo families were huge - multiple square miles of empty grasslands - and i believe formed the basis of some of the present day counties. Gregg county, Austin county, Hargrave county, etc.

    The last part not about Texas history, but about the newness, to the Anglos, of that type of agricultural activity - ranching.

    Your right, of course, that cow boy was undoubtedly used for a very long time to describe the boy who watched the cows. But cowboys were men rather than boys, and they didn't watch the cattle, who were left to fend for themselves on the open prairie and then rounded up once a year.

    I swear, I didn't make this up out of whole cloth. I've read about these derivations of cowboy, round up, rodeo, chaps, lasso, etc., several times.

    But I don't have any sources handy, and have to admit that these derivations could be as fanciful as gringo coming from "green grow the rushes o" (or lilacs;-) that was supposedly the marching song of the US troops during the Mexican-American War. Gringo, of course, comes from griego, not "green grow", despite the many books and articles that give the green grow derivation.

    Regards,
    estefanos
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    estefanos said:
    And sometimes whacko, by assuming a (false) relation to "whack". Wacko is one of the "cowboy words" that entered English from Spanish in the US Southwest during the early-mid 1800's.

    Wacko is derived from "hueco" (hollow, as in hollow-headed).

    Other cowboy words are:

    cowboy (vaquero)
    lasso
    round up, rodeo (rodear)
    loco
    chaps
    I'll give it a whack...and a resounding.."Maybe/Maybe not"

    wacky "crazy, eccentric," 1935, variant of whacky (n.) "fool," late 1800s British slang, probably ultimately from whack "a blow, stroke," from the notion of being whacked on the head one too many times. Some sources say it comes from 'out of whack'.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Well, we disagree only about the one thing. To me, cowboy would be a translation from Spanish if it were derivative or analogous-- like musketeer is, for example. Or if vaquero had an element corresponding to the word boy-- or man either, for that matter. If Stephen Austin's party had gotten involved in bullfighting, they might've called themselves bullfighters by way of coining a term for the unaccustomed activity-- bullfights in England involved dogs. So our word for bullfighter might as easily have been bullbaiter. The point is, an -eer or -ier word wasn't chosen-- bullfighter and cowboy were Anglo-Saxon words adapted for new use, not borrowed words like grenadier or privateer.

    We didn't have gunslingers either until we started venturing into territory the Spanish were also exploring, but the fact that we coined terms like that doesn't mean they were translated from, say, pistolero. Some of our gunfighters did wear bandoliers, though!
    .
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This is an almost relevant footnote, inspired by foxfirebrand's speculation (above) on the job title for those who care for domestic animals.

    I betook myself to the OED, to follow the assigned dusty trail.

    First of all, to confirm ffb's quoted 1725 as the first listing for cow-boy:
    1725 SWIFT Receipt to Stella, Justices o' quorum, Their cow-boys bearing cloaks before 'um.

    I could find no other cow-, goat-, goose- or other animal- person listed with an interesting pedigree.
    Then shepherd came to mind; cowherd sounds familiar, and of course there is the goatherd who lives high on the lonely hill:)
    So I set off to check out -herd- combinations.

    My first discovery was that herd has a very long history as a general term applied to all kinds of domestic animals - cattle, sheep, goats, swine:
    A company of domestic animals of one kind, kept together under the charge of one or more persons.

    It was a short skip in the OED from herd to herdsman - but back another 120 years or so from cow-boy:
    1603 KNOLLES Hist. Turks (1621) 133 Who yet with their wives and children, as heardsmen..wander up and downe the countrey.

    But what's this! - drop the s and look at herdman:
    c1400 MANDEVILLE (Roxb.) xxiv. 110 [Th]ai..ware made hird~men and kepers of bestez.
    ... the oldest immediately-readable example on the way back to c1000.

    And finally, to the oldest recorded meaning of the word herd:
    1. A keeper of a herd or flock of domestic animals; a herdsman.
    ...with the earliest recorded example c725 full of strange characters and unfamiliar words.

    Make of that what you will:)
    I've finished my lunch, enjoyed the research - enjoy the rest of your day:D
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    foxfirebrand said:
    Well, we disagree only about the one thing. To me, cowboy would be a translation from Spanish ...only if vaquero had an element corresponding to the word boy-- or man either...
    Uhh.... "ero"?

    A native Spanish speaker will, I hope, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "ero" indicates a person intimately (professionally?) engaged with the preceding noun. "o" makes if masculine, hence man or boy.

    The only word that leaps to mind at the moment is "bombero" - the man who operates the pump - a fireman.

    Oh, wait... there's "gambero" also, but that's slang, and I have no idea how the word would have been derived, so there may well be no parallel with bombero.

    Thanks for the interesting conversation.
    estefanos
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    estefanos said:
    Uhh.... "ero"?

    A native Spanish speaker will, I hope, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "ero" indicates a person intimately (professionally?) engaged with the preceding noun. "o" makes if masculine, hence man or boy.

    The only word that leaps to mind at the moment is "bombero" - the man who operates the pump - a fireman.

    Oh, wait... there's "gambero" also, but that's slang, and I have no idea how the word would have been derived, so there may well be no parallel with bombero.
    estefanos
    Estefanos
    As our languages and their grammar are so similar I think this suffix -ero (that
    is -eiro in Portuguese) has the same meaning and origin.
    Here comes from the grammar:

    eiro - from latim -arRu (de -arRus, a, um e -arRus, ii), nom. =
    a person that does certain activity or has a specific profession (ex.barbeiro, costureiro, hoteleiro, vaqueiro); someone who shows a certain trait of personality or behavior (ex.agoureiro= a person who is ominous/alcoviteiro= a person who is a pimp) ; an object or a tool; a machine or gadget; a specific place to keep things (ex: açucareiro = sugar bowl/ paliteiro=toothpick holder); a tree : abacateiro (the avocado tree)/limoeiro(the lemon tree);formigueiro ( anthill) ; viveiro =vivarium...and so on.
    I think many of them have similar words in Spanish.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    estefanos said:
    A native Spanish speaker will, I hope, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "ero" indicates a person intimately (professionally?) engaged with the preceding noun. "o" makes if masculine, hence man or boy.
    Yes, it would've been clearer if I'd said cowboy is not a derivation of the Spanish vaquero, as are the -ier and -eer forms I went on to mention. Translation is a simple concept, and our word for vaquero is cowboy.

    Where I got confused was the clause "it was translated into English from the Spanish word already in use in order to describe a new activity."

    To me this clearly meant word derivation, and I just don't think words are coined in a manner so self-consciously derivative of another language. Once a word has been coined, most often by a process not really understood, and certainly not documented-- translation of it after the fact is a whole nother concept. In that case you're being descriptive, and not implying a cause-and-effect relationship.

    When we came across toreros, we evolved a clearly English term for them. When we adopted a term for bandoleros, we clearly borrowed (or stole) a pre-existing term, and our word is derivative.

    And yes, it's been a very rewarding discussion.
     

    Papalote

    Senior Member
    Spanish, English, French
    estefanos said:
    Uhh.... "ero"?

    A native Spanish speaker will, I hope, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "ero" indicates a person intimately (professionally?) engaged with the preceding noun. "o" makes if masculine, hence man or boy.

    The only word that leaps to mind at the moment is "bombero" - the man who operates the pump - a fireman.

    Oh, wait... there's "gambero" also, but that's slang, and I have no idea how the word would have been derived, so there may well be no parallel with bombero.

    Thanks for the interesting conversation.
    estefanos
    Hi, everyone,

    I can`t help it, after reading such an interesting exchange, but to play devil's advocate ;) . Not exactly that, but can`t think of a term for what I'm doing aqui seguido (next?).

    I first thought of obrero, and my quasi-feminist beady brain immediately thought of obrera, so far so good. Then I thought of ratero, and ratera (which might only be used in Mexico, correct me if I am wrong, and is slang for thief), and then I came to cajero and cajera, and then... but, wait a minute, these two words do not have the same meaning! I asked some of my colleagues, Argentinians and Mexicans, and they confirmed that cajera is the lady that gives you money (cashier) and cajero is the machine (ATM).

    It has taken me more that an hour to type this, work rudely intruded on pleasure and I had to get back to a translation I'm struggling with, so in order to send this without further interruptions, I will just point out this interesting fact and get on with my duty.

    Have a nice long weekend! Ah, yes, it`s only long for us Canadians, our Thanksgiving:D . So, the, have a nice weekend, buen fin de semana!

    Papalote
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    foxfirebrand said:
    Where I got confused was the clause "it was translated into English from the Spanish word already in use in order to describe a new activity."
    Ah. I see.

    That's why I wrote so much about Texas history. But my point was not well made: I should have said "from the Spanish word already in use by the first (Anglo)American cowboys".

    As I explained, they all spoke Spanish, since they were Spanish citizens living in a Spanish colony. When the second wave of Anglo-American immigration into Texas began shortly before the 1845 war, the new immigrants had no intention of participating in anything resembling cultural assimilation, and did not learn Spanish. Hence the Spanish terms already in use were either translated into English (by the first wave of Anglos - the Spanish speakers) or anglicized.

    A similar explanation with "round up". I surely did not mean to say that the words are derived from Spanish as in "rodear" => "round". That's absurd, as you rightly pointed out.

    My point was that before the inception of western style ranching, English speaking people did not "round up" cattle". They "herded" them in, or "drove in" the herd. That's simply because they already knew where the herd was. With the type of ranching developed in the West (which I understand to be derived from agricultural practices in the south of Spain) nobody knew where the herds were until they went out looking for them. Hence the need to "round them up"

    OK - now I promise - no more ranching history;)

    que tienes buena dia,
    estefanos
     
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