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Coyote

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Coyote

Postby Slava » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:56 pm

This one has several meanings, so could be fun to see how many can be used in one sentence.

Also, how often do we see a word that comes from Nahuatl? :D
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Re: Coyote

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:17 am

We have several English words from Nahuatl. It is true that many of them came to us through Mexican Spanish. To name a few there are chia (the weird stuff weird people grow on pottery), coyote, mesquite, ocelot, peyote, shack (you read it correctly), tomato, avocado, chili, guacamole, and chocolate. In Texas we have many trees, shrubs, animals, etc. with names from Nahuatl; words such as huisache (‘wee-sach), a thorny shrub. There are many Amerind words we use in Texas that are from some Amerind language, perhaps Nahutal, Coahuiltecan and others.

I know only two definitions for coyote. The animal and a smuggler of illegal aliens. Enlighten me.
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Re: Coyote

Postby Slava » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:07 am

Philip Hudson wrote:I know only two definitions for coyote. The animal and a smuggler of illegal aliens. Enlighten me.

Coyote is also the Loki of the American Indians.

A slang use is as the human male equivalent of a human female "cougar."
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Re: Coyote

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:04 pm

Another Nahuatl word we use in South Texas is jacal \hə-ˈkäl\. When I was a child many people lived in jacals. They were the South Texas version of the dugout or soddie of the midwest.
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Re: Coyote

Postby Slava » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:24 pm

Three new words for me there. I never knew dugout had any meaning beyond a canoe and baseball.

Jacal led me to look up jackal, and that one's got some nice etymology to it, too. Sanskrit's nothing new here, but, as the saying goes, "who knew?"

And soddie is just a fun one. Probably not to live in, but as a word, yes.
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Re: Coyote

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:52 pm

Regionalisms are really interesting. Who from the South knew that Chock Full o'Nuts was a brand of coffee or that "regular" in New York means coffee with cream? What grits eating Southerner ever imagined scrapple, a noxious combination of grits and bulk pork sausage cooked like pancakes in the Philadelphia area? There are probably no jacals, dugouts or soddies in all the Finger Lakes Region. I am a great lover of diversity.
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Re: Coyote

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:34 am

This is an interesting word, especially the new meanings of it. I found three and probably could find more. However, we don't know much about the etymology of Nahuatl, so the Word History would be very shallow; as a matter of fact, it would take only one sentence to say it comes from Nahuatl coyotl.
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