Wednesday, June 24, 2009

picops and hoosegows

Wonderfully funny things happen when words move from one language to another. I shared one of my favorites, the western U.S. word hoosegow with my teacher Rosa Maria yesterday. She looked at it in puzzlement, and I explained that it was a transliteration into English of juzgado, the Spanish word for a court, though in the West, the jail was the hoosegow, not the court.

I loved finding the word picop in an excellent book I'm reading in Spanish about the murder of Bishop Gerardi, subsequent investigations and the court case (in English, it's The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman). A picop, in case you didn't sound it out, is known as a pickup in the U.S.

Hoosegows and picops - a delightful change from wrestling with the subjunctive and stem-changing verbs.

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