criollos

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*estudianteinglesa*

Senior Member
English
I am reading the short story 'La Intrusa' by Jorge Luis Borges, and there is a word that I am confused about the meaning of, here is the sentence:

"Se que eran altos, de melena rojiza. Dinamarca o Irlanda, de las que nunca oirian hablar, andaban por la sangre de esos dos criollos"

I know the story is set in Argentina as it mentions lots of suburbs of Buenos Aires, but when I look up the meaning of the work 'criollos' it mentions Venezuela and Peru. Here is the wordreference definition:


criollo -lla adjetivo
  1. (Hist) Creole
  1. (AmL) (por oposición a extranjero) Venezuelan (o Peruvian etc);
    ‹plato/artesanía/cocina› national
■ sustantivo masculino, femenino
  1. (Hist) Creole (of European descent born in a Spanish American colony)
  1. (AmL) (nativo) Venezuelan (o Peruvian etc)
criollo,-a adjetivo & m,f Creole


I have to talk about the physical characteristics of the Nilsen brothers, but I can't make out from this sentence where they are from, as it mentions Denmark and Ireland as well. I know they were tall with redish hair, but can anyone help me understand the meaning of this sentence?

Thanks so much!
 
  • aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Danish and Irish blood ran through the veins of these two "criollos".
    To make it fit the sentence it would have to be:
    'The blood of Denmark and Ireland, (countries) of which they would never have heard, coursed/ran through the veins of these two "criollos".'
    You could use "creoles" as well, but "criollos" is in Merriam-Webster, although it defines them as having Spanish blood, not European blood in general.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/criollo
     

    manicha

    Senior Member
    Spanish/Galician - Spain
    I've checked DRAE and it says: Descendent of European ancestors born in any of the old Spanish territories in América. If I heard the word criollo, I will assume that there has been a mix with the original population of the area, to a certain degree, but I've just seen it is wrong or, ar least, I didn't find that meaning in any dictionary.
    Maybe in Argentina it has the meaning of Argentinian-born, non inmigrant, because most of the people that nowadays are Argentinian-born have "criollo", origins, that is, they are the grand-gran-grand-grand.. sons of people who settle down in Argentina, but were born in Spain.
    Sorry if I failed to explain the concept clearly, but I hope you'll understand.
     

    sky599

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, USA
    I've checked DRAE and it says: Descendent of European ancestors born in any of the old Spanish territories in América. If I heard the word criollo, I will assume that there has been a mix with the original population of the area, to a certain degree, but I've just seen it is wrong or, ar least, I didn't find that meaning in any dictionary.
    Maybe in Argentina it has the meaning of Argentinian-born, non inmigrant, because most of the people that nowadays are Argentinian-born have "criollo", origins, that is, they are the grand-gran-grand-grand.. sons of people who settle down in Argentina, but were born in Spain.
    Sorry if I failed to explain the concept clearly, but I hope you'll understand.
    Manicha,
    Just a minor correction: it's actually "the great-great-great-great... grandsons."

    grandson (2 generations)
    great-grandson (3 generations)
    great-great-grandson (4 generations)
    etc.

    And the same with great-grandmother, great-grandfather, great-aunt, etc. Each "great" just adds a generation.
    :)
     

    Pinairun

    Senior Member
    "Se que eran altos, de melena rojiza. Dinamarca o Irlanda, de las que nunca oirian hablar, andaban por la sangre de esos dos criollos"

    Criollo is a descendent (pure white*) of European ancestors, who is born in old Spanish or other european countries territories in America or Asia (Philippines).

    *That's why they are tall and red-haired.
     

    lamaga81

    Senior Member
    ARGENTINIAN SPANISH
    Soy argentina y puedo aclarar esto. Criollos , como muy bien están diciendo, son los hijos o nietos de inmigrantes. Pero por sobre todas las cosas, "criollo" se refiere a indígenas o personas que tienen la mezcla de raza eruropea con indígena. También se utiliza para las cosas típicas: música, comida, etcétera. Hope this helps!
     
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