Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Mon Feb 9 08:06:12 MST 2004

1. On a previous posting on this issue, I wrote:

> The truly derogatory terms in current Argentinean language have 
> little to do with animalization of the victim.

Of course, the sentence is saying exactly the opposite of what it was meant to say. Cut and paste operations should not be undertaken at the early hours, when you had better be sleeping.  It should have read:

"Truly derogatory terms have lots to do with animalization of the 

2.  The "cabecita negra" allusion has no meaning at all as regards "animalization", unless one is aware that the "black little heads" are some small humble birds in the Pampa region.

3.  There is still another, and much better, example. 

In the Piamontese colonies of the Eastern fringe of Córdoba province (if you have a map handy, place your finger midway between Córdoba and Santa Fe, near the town of San Francisco), people of European origin -mostly middle class- know their humbler fellow countrymen, children of the land -mostly working class or rural poor-, as "fuines" (singular: "fuín", pron. approx. "fwinn"). 

This is a word of Piamontese origin, meaning "barn rat".  Isn't it nice?

Why do I believe this particular form of abuse relevant?  Well, it helps to understand some interesting things.  Former Economy Minister -and in many ways former President in fact-  Domingo Cavallo was a member of this delicately racist community, a member of its lower ranks, and many of his psychological and sociological traits can be understood as a set of "uppity white trash" symptoms.

This "fuín" or fwinn issue is not a minor one, as you can see.

4.  Finally, on 'indio". In some North Western and North Eastern towns (Salta, Jujuy, Resistencia, Posadas), where either there remain some consequences of the pre-Independence racial stratification of production, or where there are still some aboriginal communities juxtaposed with the mainstream Argentinean population, "indio" can be a term of abuse or at least a mark of social differentiation. Most markedly in traditional NW, much less so in the NE, where it tends to acquire a "somehow foreign to us" meaning.

Sorry for mistakes, hope addenda help,

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

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"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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