Lunfardo

From Academic Kids

Lunfardo was a colorful, slangy argot of the Spanish language which developed at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century in the lower classes in and around Buenos Aires.

Many Lunfardo expressions have entered into the popular language and have become an integral part of the Spanish spoken in Argentina and Uruguay. A few have been recognised even by the Real Academia Española. Lunfardo is frequently found in the lyrics of tangos, supplying nuances and double-entendres with overtones of sex, drugs, and the criminal underworld.

Contents

Development

Much of Lunfardo arrived with European immigrants, such as Italians, French, Portuguese, and Poles; other words arrived from the pampa by means of the gauchos; yet others emerged from Argentina's black population.

Most sources believe that Lunfardo originated in jails, as a prisoner-only argot. Circa 1900, the word lunfardo itself meant "outlaw".

Characteristics

A characteristic of lunfardo is its use of wordplay, notably vesre (reversing the syllables). Thus, Tango becomes gotán and café con leche (café au lait) becomes feca con chele.

Lunfardo employs ingenious metaphors such as bobo ("dumb") for the heart, who "works all day long without being paid", or bufoso ("snorter") for pistol.

Finally, there are words that are derived from others in Spanish, such as the verb abarajar, which means to stop your opponent's blows with the blade of your knife and is related to the verb "barajar", which means to cut or prepare a deck of cards.

Examples

  • Manyar - To eat (from Italian language's mangiare -to eat-)
  • Morfar - To eat (origin unknown).
  • Algo voy a cerebrar - I'll think something up (cerebrar from cerebro -brains-)
  • Chochamu - Young man (vesre for muchacho)
  • Gurí - Boy (from Guarani_language)
  • Gomías - Friends (vesre for amigos)
  • Fiaca - laziness (from Italian word fiaco -weak-)
  • Engrupir - To fool someone (origin unknown).
  • Junar - To look to / To know (from Caló junar -to hear-)

See also

  • Cocoliche, a Buenos-Aires pidgin of Spanish and Italian
  • Germanía
  • Vesre, a common reversing syllables wordplay found in lunfardo

External links

de:Lunfardo es:lunfardo

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