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Glossary of Argentine Camp Spanglish

(As used in the family diaries)

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The Benitz family members of the late 1800's, as did most of their English speaking contemporaries in Argentina, created English terms from Spanish words familiar to them in their everyday activities. These terms (including: camp - derived from campo - countryside/ranch, see below) are known collectively as “Spanglish”.  The terms were used extensively in their diaries and letters.  Many of the terms are still in use today.  To retain the flow and feel of the diaries, we have transcribed them as written and have interpreted the Spanglish terms here.  Within the glossary, we have highlighted in bold terms that have their own entries.

We will be continually updating this glossary during the process of transcribing the diaries.  If you have corrections or further information that would enrich the glossary, please e-mail us; particularly for terms flagged with [-?-], likely misspelled, we could not figure them out.  Please keep in mind we are interested in Argentine camp Spanglish and not all possible meanings to a word such as would be found in a good dictionary, e.g. a junta is a yoke of oxen (today it could also mean a military dictatorship).  Our addresses can be found on the home page.

Our principal references:

Folklore:Diccionario Folklórico Argentino”, Felix Coluccio, c. Editorial Plus Ultra,  1981, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Guaraní:Diccionario Guarania Ilustrado”, 1997 Colihue-Mimbipa SRL, Asunción, Paraguay.
And on-line translators (with varying results).

All Wildlife & Plants:  We search the web using scientific names (Latin) for a wealth of information.

Birds:Guía para la identificación de las Aves de Argentina y Uruguay”, Tito Narosky - Dario Yzurieta, c. Vazquez Mazzini Editores, 2003, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
* We provide links to “Argentine Ornithology”, published in 1888 by W. H. Hudson & P. L. Sclater; the books provide detailed 19th century descriptions in English; however, many of the birds’ Latin names have changed.

Other wild-life: Visit “Photos of Wild Animals of ARGENTINA”.  Alec Earnshaw provides photos with brief descriptions in both English & Spanish.
* Another excellent reference site is “Fauna de mi Argentina”; Martín Pedriera Kanter provides photos with detailed descriptions in Spanish.

Abbreviations & notes:

[=] - the term is correctly spelt Spanish, i.e. is not Spanglish.

[H] – Herman Benitz's spelling was quite inventive — found in the La California and Los Palmares estancia diaries.  Words he didn't know, in either English or Spanish, he spelt phonetically as if pronounced in English.  He also had some peculiar but consistent spelling errors which suggest he may have been dyslexic, e.g. he consistently spells “peon” as “poen”.  We have included in the glossary his more obtuse spellings, flagged with [H].

a-o / e-i / j-i-y / d-h-l-t / c-n-r-s-u / s-z – when looking up words, please allow for spelling and transcription errors.  It is often difficult to distinguish between these letters in cursive handwriting – though we tended to give the benefit of the doubt.

a.k.a.also known as: a synonym or alternative name.

CH, LL, and RR - we do not treat as separate letters (as they are in the Spanish alphabet).

Ñ - we treat as an accented N, not as a separate letter (as it is in the Spanish alphabet).

Note: English writers all too often omitted accent marks and the tilde off Ñ, altering the meaning of words, particularly the tense of verbs, e.g. gano (I win) vs. ganó (he won); Canadá is a country way up north vs. Cañada is short for ‘Cañada de Gómez’, an important town 30 km. south of La California.

Nationalities - Enlish capitalizes a nationality, e.g. Canadian, Indian, Spanish does not, e.g. canadiense, indio.  We retained the capitalization as written in the original documents.

  - Symbols & Important Dates -

symbol for arroba, see arroba
◊  □
symbols for cuadra (square), see cuadra.
Symbol used by Alfred A.Bz & John E.Bz respectively.
In the diaries and documents, the unqualified symbol “$” denotes the peso, not the US dollar (USD).
   See peso Argentino before 1933,
   See peso moneda nacional 1933-1980.
$B [peso Boliviano]
see peso Boliviano
see peso moneda nacional
$ m/n
see peso moneda nacional
$ pat [patacón]
slang for the first peso argentino, emitted in 1812.
2 x 3 - [dos-por-tres]
phrase: “in a blink of an eye”; right away, in a hurry, rushed.
1810 - 25 de mayo   (La Revolución de Mayo)
The date on which the Argentine War of Independence began.  King Ferdinand VII had been deposed by Napoleon in 1808.  In Buenos Aires, on the 25th of May, 1810, a Supreme Central Junta of leading citizens replaced their viceroy.  The junta ostensibly ruled in the name of the deposed king for not everyone was in favor of independence.
1816 - 9 de julio   (Dia de la Independencia)
The Argentine Day of Independence – declared by the “United Provinces of South America” at the Congress of Tucumán, 9 July, 1816.  Delegates were from Perú and the “United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata”.  The “Federal League” provinces (Santa Fé, Misiones, Corrientes, & Entre Rios) and the “Eastern Province” (Uruguay), at war with the United Provinces, were not allowed to send delegates – they favored a weaker central government (in Buenos Aires) leading to internal conflicts (until about 1860) and the separation of Uruguay (which was promptly invaded by a Brazilian-Portuguese force, from which it gained independence in 1828).


abbreviation of arroyo: creek; see arroyo
“a medias”
on halves
a/c, A & cta [a/c - a cuenta]
on account
abajenio [abarajar]
(i) to kill or be killed by a thrown lance/spear
(ii) in a knife fight, to fall towards/upon the oponent’s knife; usually fatal
“abajo marca” [bajo marca]
under own brand, i.e. branded livestock
abichado [=]
fly-blown - see embichado
abombado [=]
begun to boil, e.g water.  However, per context (AABz diary, hunt 1902), more likely a corruped version of bombeado, pumped.
abroja /o [abrojo]
cocklebur, a plant with a spiny very prickly seed, considered a pest. There are 2 kinds found in Santa Fé: “abrojo chico” or “abrojo grande” (Xanthium spp.).
accompañared, acompanared [acompañar]
to acompany, acompanied
aceite [=]
acheno, achero [acheno]
(i) colloquial term for unbranded livestock: cattle or horse
(ii) could be misspelt ajeno - foreign
(iii) could be misspelt hachero - wood-cutter
acinchar, asinchar [acinchar]
to pull by a rope/laso attached to the saddle cinch
one who gathers & may warehouse - not sure what from Los Palmares
added, extra
administración [=]
management, or the management offices
administrator [administrador]
Until the mid-1900's, the management of an estancia was structured approx. as follows: The manager (a.k.a.mayordomo) was the person at the top of the estancia management hierarchy. If he was also the owner, he would be an estanciero, and if his estancia was large enough, he might have had a mayordomo (hired manager) assisting him. Below the manager would be one or two segundos (apprentices) and one or more capataz’s (foremen) in charge of cuadrillas (crews) of peones (workmen). Estancias might be split up into sections with puesteros to take care of them.  Because of his position, the manager was well respected in the community. A hired manager lived very well on an estancia with many perks (house, food, servants) but it was not a lucrative position. Retirement, often without benefits, was a rude change in lifestyle.
aflojando [=]
growing tired / weakening
afrecho, affrechilla [afrecho]
bran / mash - a biproduct of removing (cleaning) the fibrous shell from seed that will be ground into flour, a.k.a.: salvado.
aftosa [=]
hoof & mouth disease of livestock (aka: foot & mouth) caused by the virus aphthovirus.  In Argentina, during the 19th century it was known as peste, see peste below.  Causes high fever, blisters in the mouth, lameness (blisters within the hooves), & death (particularly younger animls).  Highly infectious to cleft hoof animals (cattle, sheep, pigs, deer – though llamas & alpacas are resistant).  Following strict controls and drastic measures, it has been erdadicated from N.America and Europe.  Argentina is combating it with strict health controls & vaccination programs and is now (2010) free of it except in the far north-east.
afueras [=]
outlands, remote areas (in Alfred's 1889 context relative to Laguna Yacaré: the wilder areas west, beyond the Calchaquí river)
ageno [ajeno]
see ajeno
agrimensor [=]
land surveyor
Agro Pecuario [agropecuario]
aguacil / aguaciles [=]
dragon fly / dragon flies
aguada [=]
(i) watering hole;
(ii) set of cattle watering troughs (bebederos)
aguara [aguará guazú]
A unique animal (Chrysocyon brachyurus), neither a fox nor a wolf, it looks like a large fox on black stilts, standing 1 meter tall (taller than almost all dogs), and weighing 20kg.  Once common on the northern pampas and Chaco regions (as well as Paraguay & Brazil), now only found in remote areas.  It is endangered due to habitat loss & hunting (in part due to superstition).  Its name is Guaraní for: “big fox”; a.k.a.: in Spanish: lobo, "lobo del monte", or "Lobo argentino", in English: "maned wolf".
aguariguay [=]
The aguaribay (Schinus molle areira) is a tree of north-central Argentina; known by various names: molle in Córdoba and the north-western provinces, also: gualeguay, pimiento del diablo, terebinto, curanguay, mulli. Grows 10-15 meters tall with drooping branches similar to weeping-willow, trunk up 1 meter in diameter, the bark (reddish) produces a resin that smells strongly of turpentine (trementina); is also the source of the pink peppercorn spice.  In English: Schinus, a pepper tree in the sumac family, Anacardiaceae / anacardiácea. Some people have a severe allergic reaction to its resin, e.g. do not walk under it after a rain as dripps from its leaves may cause a severe rash.
agunel [-?-]
term included in a list of cows he milked, Alfred: 13 June'77
aire [=]
air; but in context of illness likely: short of breath, light-headed.
ajeno [=]
foreign / alien – a person or animal (e.g. cattle or horse) that is not of or does not belong (e.g. to a herd or estancia)
“al barrer”
on/at average
“al corte” [=]
non-selective / arbitrary cutting out a given number of head or portion of a herd, e.g. split off 100 head or split a herd in two by simply riding through the middle of it.  Often combined with todo lo que pisa
al costo [=]
at cost
alambrador [=]
alambrados [=]
fences / fencing enclosing potreros (fields). La California: the fences were typically of 7 wire strands, 6 plain (alambre liso), 1 barbed (alambre de pua), spaced closer together near to the ground to prevent calves and sheep from passing through. Fence posts were set approx. 12 meters apart with 5 varillas (wood spacers) distributed evenly between them. The posts were of quebracho colorado, the wires passing through holes drilled in the posts and tightened via torniquetas (turnbuckles) at field corners. (see turniquetes and varillas)
alambrar [=]
to fence (i.e. to put in a wire fence)
alambre [=]
alarido [=]
indian yell
alasanes [alazanes]
chestnuts / sorrels - see alazan
alazán - alasan, alesan, alisan [alazán]
chestnut / sorrel (US).  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
alazán overo [=]
chesnut / sorrel piebald
albarden [albardín]
matweed, a prostrate mat-forming perennial herb [Guilleminea species].
alcanterilla [=]
(i) covered drainage channel
(ii) low bridge
alfalfa (or: alfa) [=]
common forage legume – very productive but can cause bloat, particularly new growth. Sometimes known as lucerne. Like all legumes, it fixes (adds) nitrogen to the soil and is very often included in a rotation with crops. (first reference in day-books: “La California”: January, 1888; “Los Palmares”: July, 1892)
alfalfar [=]
field of alfalfa
algaroba [algarrobo]
a spiny leguminous tree found on the drier western and northern edges of the pampas. (Prosopis alba, Prosopis nigra) Prized for its hard red wood. Member of the same genus as mesquite, ñandubay, espinillo, and caldén.
algarrobal [=]
a wood/stand/forest of algarrobo trees
see alasan
almacen [almacén]
general store. 
almacenero [=]
owner of a general store.
almidon [almidón]
almudo [almud]
pre-metric measure for grain by volume, 12 almud = 1 fanega. See fanega and our page on Measures.
alpaca [=]
(i) Similar to the llama, it is much smaller (Vicugna pacos); less than 1 metre tall, 50-85 kg.  It is bred in the Andes for its much prized fine hair/fur.
(ii) A bright silver-like metal alloy made up of copper, zinc and nickel - and possibly iron.  It is non-precious and does not contain any silver.  In Argentina, used in place of silver in the cheaper gaucho items: knives, mates, bombillas, etc.
alpargatas, alpergatas, alpagatos [alpargatas]
black canvas topped, rope soled slip-on shoes, quite comfortable.  Typically worn by hombres de campo (camp-men) - the workmen (peónes, gauchos), see also: bombachas, tirador.
alquitran [alquitrán]
tar, pitch
alsa-prima [=]
a log-carrier used in the Chaco.  It consists of 2 wheels, each 2-2½ metres in diameter, joined by an axle, & pulled by a team of oxen.  The logs are raised free of the ground below the axle.  (See J.E.Bz photo album 1, photos 21a-b-c.)
amanecered [almanacer]
arise, as in the morning.
amanzador [=]
tamer, e.g. amanzador de bueyes = tamer of oxen
amargo [=]
anegada [=]
flooded (as in: camps are anegadas)
años arriba [=]
phrase: X or more years, e.g. 3 años arriba = 3 or more years
angostura [=]
the narrows (of a river or lake)
ant bear [oso hormiguero]
Alfred's favored term for the South American giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), he had one as pet.  About the size of a large dog or about 2 meters long, adults weigh 25-40 kg, & live for about 15 years.  Recognizable by their elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.  Insectiverous.  Today found east of the Andes, from Formosa province (northern Argentina) to the Caribean.  In Spanish: oso hormiguero; in Guaraní: "yurumí".  Classified as: Vulnerable.
anta [=]
another name for tapir, see tapir
“años arriba” [=]
e.g. 3 años arriba = 3 years and up (older)
abbreviation of arroyo: creek – see arroyo
apartadors [apartador /es]
those doing the cutting out at an apartes, the owner or owner representatives.
apartar, aparted [apartar]
to cut-out, to separate or classify cattle; divide by owner (see apartes) or categorise by sex, age, or condition, e.g. separate steers from heifers, cull old cows, or select ready for market.  See also: part.
aparte [=]
someone’s cut/selected stock, seeapartes
apartes [=]
event of parting (separating / dividing) a herd of cattle / horses.  Often by brand to the different owners, a regular occurrence when there were no fences and the livestock mixed in with those of the neighboring camps (estancias); see rodeo.
apestada, apestados [=]
infected, sick.
apretared [apretar]
aprovechared, aprovochared [aprovechar]
make use of, e.g. take advantage of an opportunity
apuntared [apuntar]
noted down, made a note of
apuro [=]
(i) in a hurry, rushed;
(ii) in a tight spot.
aquerenciar [=]
to accustom an animal or a herd (horses or cattle) to a place so that they will consider it their home and if strayed will return to it.  See querencia.
per context, abbreviation for: arroba (a measure of weight), or: peso argentino.
arbitro [=]
archivado [=]
(i) archived
(ii) filed (registered) with the local authorities (per context, 1897 Feb)
areglared, arglared [H]
see arreglared
areo [arreo]
see arreo
see arreador
ariar, ariared, ariadared [arrear]
to herd, to drive a herd
see horcon
arnera [-?-]
Per AABz Biography: Brazilian tree with poisonous bark [not found when searched]
see arroba
arrancars [arranca]
starts at
arrastrar [=]
to drag
arrear [=]
(i) to herd cattle.
(ii) to rustle / steal cattle.
arreador [=]
(i) long whip used when herding (arrear) cattle;
(ii) someone who herds cattle - see tropero.
(iii) someone who steals cattle.
arreg, arreglared, arreglaring, reglar [arreglar]
(i) to fix/repair; to tidy-up
(ii) to settle accounts.
(iii) to arrange with or reach an aggreement
arrera, arreo [arreo]
(i) herd
(ii) harness
arroba, @ [arroba]
pre-metric measure of weight. In Santa Fé, 1 arroba = 11.58 Kg. (25.5 lb.). (See our page on Measures.) Also: “$x la arroba” is “$x per arroba”.
arroyo, arroya [arroyo]
creek, small river; abbreviated:
arroyita [arroyita]
small creek, a stream
arroz [=]
asado [=]
(i) barbecue, also the meat for/from the barbecue
(ii) manner of barbecuing: al asador – meat to barbecue is put on a spike, and the spike is stood in the ground, angled close to the fire & coals; a la parrilla – cooked on a grill.
“asado con cuero”
an asado of an un-skinned side of beef (or any animal) placed with the hide towards the fire, preserving the juices, takes 12-24 hours to cook - Excellent!
see acinchar
asistente [=]
asucar [azucar]
asulejo, sulejo [azulejo]
see azulejo
atado [=]
(i) a bunch
(ii) pack of cigarretes
atajadizo [=]
small interception, diversion
atajar [=], atajared
intercept (cattle)
attachared [atajar]
to intercept; once rounded-up, to prevent cattle from escaping.
atropellar [=]
bowl-over, trample
“Australian represa” / “Australian tank”
water reservoir or tank, typically round; see tank for more details.
avestruz [=]
the common misnomer in Spanish for ñandu and choique, the flightless very fast running large birds of the pampas and patagonia.  Often referred to in Spanglish as: ostrich.  The correct terms are, in Spanish: ñandu and choique, and in English: rhea — see rhea for greater detail.
avisar [=]
(i) to notify, inform, warn;
(ii) the formal act of informing
azotea [=]
flat terraced roof
“azucar ref.” [azucar refinado]
refined (white) sugar
azulejo [=]
blue roan (mix of white & black with blue tones)  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.


BA [Buenos Aires]
abbreviation universally applied to Buenos Aires within the Anglo-Argentine community.
Other terms: Bs.As. abbreviation in Spanish; Capital colloquial term; CABA since 1994, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; Porteño port people, see below.
bagre [=]
cat-fish - quite common worldwide.  A fish that has no scales, most have spines in their dorsal and pectoral.  There are about 20 species in Argentina (2,000 worldwide), almost all found in warm waters.
(i) Auchenipterus nuchalis: hocicón, buzo;
(ii) Bergiaria Westermanni: bagre trompudo;
(iii) Heptapterus mustellinus (eel-like): bagre anguila, yuska;
(iv) Primelodous Albicans: bagre blanco, mandí guazú / morotí, moncholo blanco;
(v) Primelous Clarias: bagre amarillo / misionero / overo, mandiá saigú;
(vi) Rhamdia Sapo (no teeth): bagre sapo;
(vii) Rhamdia Quelen: moncholo lagunero, bagre de arroyo / negro;
(viii) Trachycorsystes albicrux: bagre colorado / rojo / cruz blanca.
bagual, bogual, bagulas [bagual]
wild horse - descended from escaped Spanish stock; mustang in the US. See caballo for more horse terms.
baile [=]
dance or dance party
bajared [bajó]
went down
low, lowland
balancín [=]
draft-pole / tongue / single-tree of a carriage or cart (also see: pertigo
balde [=]
“balde sin fondo” [=]
“bottomless bucket”, figure of speech, equivalent to: “bottomless barrel” (barril sin fondo) or “bottomless pit”
baldeando, baldear [=]
to fill (or rempty) water using buckets, e.g. a jagüel
baldero [=]
(i) the person (rider) drawing water from a well via a jagüel – see jagüel for a description of how it’s done.
(ii) the horse normally used for the task
balsa, balza [balsa]
a raft or ferry - per context
banco [=]
Banco Provincial: Bank of the Province of... Santa Fé
Banco de la Nación: National Bank
bañado, bañada, banado [bañado]
marshy low-land; water filled.  See also estero
bareneadura [barrenar]
root: barrenar: to drill; bareneadura drilled/dug hole
barial [barrial]
mud flat
barosa [barrosa]
see barroso
barra, bara [barra]
(i) sand-bar
(ii) sand-bar (lip) across the mouth of a river draining from a lake/laguna, e.g. barra Calchaquí would be where the Calchaquí river drains out of the laguna Calchaquí.
barraca [=]
see saladero
baranca [=]
river bank, lake-shore bank
barroso, varosa [barroso /a]
muddy: a mixture of red, grey, and black hairs - more grey and black than red.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
barsina [barcina]
red-brown and white (AABz 1899 Nov. 1 - see pecarí)
basco [vasco]
person from the Basque area of Spain
bastidor [=]
screen or frame used in the sheep dip.
batata, patata [batata]
sweet potatoes
batatal [=]
field/plot of batatas
baya, bayo [=]
dun.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
baya overa [=]
spotted dun mare.  See Horse Coloring
beachado [H]
see embichared
beaches [bichos]
see bicho.
bebedero [=]
water-trough – see bebida
bebida, bebitta [bebida]
(i) water-trough, for livestock. From photographs we know the original bebidas at La California were made of wood planks, they were later replaced with metal, today most are of molded cement. For more details, see tanque.
(ii) a drink, as in “have a drink”.
bechado [H]
see embichared
berbeados [H], berbedo [H], berbeador [H] [bebedero]
water-trough – see bebida
bicho, becho [bicho]
(i) a bug / insect / maggot;
(ii) slightly disparaging term for: creature, e.g. animal or wildlife
see pileta [AABz spelling]
biscachera [viscachera]
see viscacha
Biscachero [viscachero]
viscacha hunter, see viscacha
Biscachicida [viscachicida]
implement for killing viscachas - via machine &/or poison
blanco [=]
(i) white;
(ii) horse coloring: grey.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
boals [-?-]
“Boals ordered”? Alfred: 6 April'85
bocal [brocal]
  See brocal
bocero [-?-]
probably: hackamore - a bit-less bridle. (Alfred: 13 July, 1877)
bochincha [bochinche]
(i) loud disorderly conduct or disagreement;
(ii) a noisy / rowdy party
see bagual
see peso boliviano
bola pie / bola a pie [-?-]
River in flood?
(Alfred 21 May 1896) “Calchaqui almost bola pie paso north of Felix puesto.
(Alfred 15 Dec. 1900) “Calchaqui river ‘bola a pie’ & had storm last night...”
see boleadoras
bolear, boleando [bolear, boleando]
to hunt (or hunting) with with boleadoras
boleadoras [=]
three ropes (usually of braided raw-hide) attached together at one end, with a stone or heavy wood ball at each free end. Used to hunt large running animals (ñandú, deer, horses) by flinging them spinning through the air so that the ropes will wrap themselves around the legs of the prey. a.k.a. bolas
boleta de compra y venta [=]
a contract or bill of sale.
(i) usually a pub / bar, but could also have
(ii) a small general store
bolichero [=]
boliche owner
bolichito [=]
small boliche
bolsa [=]
bag or sack
“bolsas vacias” [=]
empty sacks
$B [peso Boliviano]
denotes the Bolivian Peso, see peso Boliviano
bombachas, bombatchos, bombags [bombachas]
Loose baggy pants (pantaloons) that button at the ankles, typically held up by a sash (faja) not a belt, though a tirador or rastra may be worn over the faja.  Worn by hombres de campo (camp-men) - the workmen (peones / gauchos) and managers alike.  Very comfortable, cool in summer.  The bombachas worn for dress occasions are very baggy, heavily pleated, and are typically white or black.  (Note: in modern times, bombachas also means women's underwear!)
bombero [=]
pump-man, likely a pump repairman.
bombear [=]
to pump
bono [=]
bond, certificate
bordalesa, bordalesas [=]
a bordering (of shrubs?)
boregas, borregas [borregas]
young ewes (female sheep)
borego, borrego [borrego]
young ram (whole male sheep) - see also capón, carnero
borotilla [-?-]
(1895 Sep 21) per context, a poisnous plant
bosal [=]
halter - as in horse tack. It's lead is: cabestro.
to accustom a horse to a bosal / halter
bosta / bosto [bosta]
dung, manure
bota [=]
botoncita [=]
small button
boyero [=]
(i) livestock (oxen, horse) wrangler, cares for the oxen, brings in the riding horses in the morning
(ii) sometimes also the errand-boy
(ii) name given to a black bird (24cm long), the most common in the NE Argentina being the “Boyero Negro” (Cacicus solitarius), in English: “Solitary Black Cacique”.
bragado [=]
a horse with patches or splashes of a different color between its legs.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
Bramante [-?-]
measured in varas, likely a brand of some cloth (Alfred 15 Nov.'85)
Braunlie is the name of one of Alfred's horses
bravo [=]
wild, fierce
brazada [brazada, braza]
(i) an arm-full;
(ii) braza is fathom - a measure of depth: 1.83 meters (6 feet).
(iii) Per context (17 Feb'85), Alfred probably meant the distance between outstreched arms (brazos), either finger-tip to finger-tip, or more likely finger-tip to nose.
brazo [=]
(i) arm
(ii) river branch
brea [=]
“breaking up camp” [rompiendo campo]
plowing (turning the sod over) for the very first time - heavy work
bretes, brety [bretes]
Heart of a system of corrales (pens) for working cattle (or sheep) on an estancia.  It begins with the trascorral, a staging corral large enough to hold 50-80 head of cattle.  Smaller groups are then moved into the embudo (huevo, torín), a small corral that narrows down to funnel the animals singlefile into the manga (raceway or narrow shute).  The manga has walls of solid wood planks. About ten head can be packed head to tail in the manga to be branded, vaccinated, etc. At the far end from the embudo is a yugo, a vice that grips an animal about its neck, holding it so that it can be worked upon while standing. Past the yugo is a tiny enclosure from which several gates may lead, used for parting (classifying) cattle to different corrales, or today for directing them to a scale (balanza), cattle dip (baño), or truck loading dock (embarcadero). Bretes are far more efficient and less harmful to livestock than roping them individually.
brin [=]
coarse cloth from which workclothes were made, measured in varas
brocal [=]
the brick-lined “mouth” of a well, i.e. the well's lintel. 
to line a well mouth with bricks.  See calsa.
bronca [=]
anger, quarrel
U.S. cowboy term for an untamed horse
Disease of cattle (aka: mal-parir, in English: “contagious abortion”, “bangs disease”).  The bacterium (Brucella abortus) causes cows to abort their fetus and often become sterile.  There is no cure, it is spread by infected bulls.  Prevented today by controlled vaccination of young heifers, and the slaughter of infected animals.  Can spread to humans via infected milk (undulant fever).  See also: llaga/yaga
bruto [=]
(i) gross - e.g. “Peso Bruto”- Gross Weight
(ii) brute - burte force
buche [=]
On a carreta, the triangular box or sack (made of leather) that was be attached in front or behind the carreta’s cargo box (cajón, caja).  If in front, it rested on the carreta’s tongue (pertigo).
buey / bueyes [buey]
ox / oxen.  See carro, pertigo, & yunta.
bueyero [=]
ox handler, someone who works with oxen
bull [=]
Alfred Bz’s term for a male calf - usually about to be castrated, becoming a steer.
bulto [=]
bundle, bulky parcel
burro [=]
burro hechor [=]
male donkey


C.P., C:P:, c/p [cuero perdido]
lost skin (i.e. skin damaged/rotted, not salvajable).  Abbreviation used by Jordan (mayordomo hired by Alfred Bz, March 1904), used in the Los Palmares 1904 day-book.
caballada, caballado [caballada]
riding stock, same as caballar. See caballo for more.
caballar [=]
riding stock. See caballo for more.
caballeriza [=]
(i) a field in which riding stock are held
(ii) a stable
caballeta [caballete]
(i) ridge of roof - per context, likely the ridge-pole (cumbrera ) and its supports (horcones) - see cumbrera for more details
(ii) tresle or sawhorse - often used as a place to put saddles.
caballo [=]
(i) Any horse in general or a gelding (castrated male horse) in the specific, depending on context. Montado a caballo - mounted (on horse-back); montaba un caballo - rode a gelding - the crux of the 1982 movie: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.
(ii) Caballos: is the common term for horses in general, Yeguarizos is more refined but still a colloquial term, Petisos is the colloquial term for polo-ponies, Equinos is generally only used in official surveys & documents.
(iii) More terms: bagual - untamed wild horse (mustang); caballar / caballada - riding stock; cojudo - stallion (vulgar); madrina - lead mare in a herd; manada - brood mare herd; mancarrón - ungainly horse; matungo - old moke; padrillo - stallion; pingo - nice-looking horse; potrilla/o - foal or colt; potranca - filly up to 3-4 years old; potro - colt up to 3-4 years old; redomón - horse being tamed (domado); retajo - sterilized stallion; tropilla - herd of horses; yegua - mare. 
(iv) Horses are often refered to simply by their coloring (pelaje), the ending “o” or “a” the only indication of their sex.
(v) Hair colorings [pelaje] - see table at foot of glossary.
cabaña [=]
(i) a shed / barn with stalls for prized livestock, e.g. bulls
(ii) a prized breeding herd – implied by having such a barn
cabestro, cabresto [cabestro]
lead-rope of the halter (bosal)
cabezada [=]
headstall of a bridle
cabezero [cabecera]
cabo [=]
(i) handle of a knife or stock of a whip
(ii) corporal in the army
cabrestrear [cabestrear]
lead a horse by its halter rope (cabestro)
cachorro [=]
cacique [=]
indian chief
prickly-pear or paddle cactus (Opuntia sp.) — its leaves were chopped up and added to slaked lime to make it stick better when white-washing walls.  In Spanish, its red fruit is called: tuna.
calk [from German: kalk]
slaked lime, see kalk for details
callajon [callejón]
per context, a road-way or dead end road
callpon, calpon [H] [galpón]
see galpon
calsa, calse [fits=]
to fit or fits (in place)
calsar, calsaring, [calsar]
(i) to fit;
(ii) to line, as in to line a well with bricks or palm logs.  See brocal.
calza [=]
fits, e.g. flooring fits the space available
calzaring [calsar]
per context, see calsar
calze, calze palma [=]
palm logs cut to line a well, lined with palm-tree logs
calzonzillas [calzoncillas]
underwear shorts, drawers
camión [=]
truck, lorry
camisa [=]
camolotes [camalotes]
mats of floating water hyacinth
camp [campo]
Derived from the Spanish campo, it takes on all its meanings and is still in wide use today:
(i) farm-fields, terrain, countryside – as in “riding out in camp”, or “the camp is full of water”;
(ii) ranch – as in “I have a camp” means “I own a ranch”;
(iii) farming & ranching community / agribusiness as a whole: “the camp is furious about the new tax.”.
campiar, campeando, campiando, campiaring [campear]
to be out in the field, to search the fields, to search for
large open area surrounded by monte, per context (AABz 12 Sep 1895)
caña [=]
(i) cane (as in bamboo);
(ii) hut structural element: cane is used in the walls to provide a skeleton for the adobe (chorizo) and in the roof it is the cross pieces on which the thatch (paja) is lain and tied to - see cañaveral. Other elements: horcón, cumbrera, tijeras, paja, chorizo;
(iii) rhum - Caña Piragua is (and likely was) the most popular brand.
cañada, canada [cañada]
(i) low-land / marshland / valley along an arroyo on the flat pampas.
(ii) If capitalized, most likely refers to the town of Cañada de Gómez 30 km. south of La California.
canaleta, canalete [canaleta]
gutter or drainage ditch
cañaveral, caña veral [cañaveral]
dense stand of tall thick stemmed grass, or cane, found along rivers and used for thatch, etc. See caña and paja - can be stands of either.
See alos: tacuarasal
candor [condor]
Alfred, 18-10-76: most likely misspelt “condor” - per context, see peso chileno.
caño [=]
canoa [=]
narrow flat-bottomed boat that is rowed (note: not a north-american indian canoe)
cansado [=]
tired, worn out
canutillo [=]
(i) Tender plant (Commelina erecta) that grows in calm waters, up to 1.4 meters tall, found throughout the warmer regions of the Americas, has some medicinal properties.  In English: “Whitemouth Dayflower”.
(ii) Pasto canutilla (Panicum elephantites) is a flood resistant natural perennial grass found in lowlands; cattle like it however there are some health issues with it.
canyada [H]
see cañada
capacion [capación]
castration event, e.g. of all young colts
capar, capared, capando, capered [capar]
to castrate, or castrated (see capon and novillo.)
capataz, capatas [capataz]
foreman on an estancia. See Administrador for the management hierarchy of an estancia.
capataz de tropa [=]
herd foreman - person responsible for a herd usually going a long distance (e.g. from Los Palmares to La California), see also: matricula de tropero.
capared, caparing [from capar]
castrated / castrating – capar is: to castrate; typically done at weaning.
AABz: he wrote “capared bulls”, i.e. castrated male calves making them into steers
see capar
capon, capones [capón]
wether, wethers (castrated male lamb/sheep)
caponsito [=]
small capón
“cara blanca”
horse coloring: white faced, encompassing more than a broad white blaze (malacara).  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
“cara negra”, “caras negras” [=]
black face / faced animals; if sheep, then likely were Hampshire Down breed.
carada [cargada]
load, as in wagon-load.
caraguata [caraguatá]
a.k.a.: planta vaso, cardo chuza
Most likely a spiky-spiny bromiliad plant, possibilities are (a) Aechmea distichantha native to northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.  (b) Bromelia pinguin(c) Another possibility is Eryngium pandanifolium, which is similarly spiny & spiky.
carancho [=]
Distinctive bird of prey (Caracara plancus) seen often on the pampas & patagonia: wingspan 1.2-1.35 metres, weighing 1-1½kg.; feeds mostly on carcasses of dead animals, but will take small prey.  Not endangered. See Hudson’s Birds
“cardo negro” [=]
A thistle (Cirsium vulgare) introduced into Argentina from Europe; considered an invasive weed. English: "Spear thistle".
cargero, carguero [carguero]
pack horse, freighter
carga [=]
(i) load (e.g. car load)
(ii) charge, price
carne [=]
meat.  In Argentine terms, when unqualified, means: beef.
“carne con cuero” [carne con cuero, asado con cuero]
barbecued side of beef, grilled with the hide on & facing the fire. Takes 12 – 24 hours to prepare, the hide keeps the juices in. See asado.
carnear, carneared, carneado, carñeared [carnear]
to butcher an animal; a butchering
carnero [=]
ram: whole male sheep
carniceria [=]
butcher’s shop
carnicero [=]
caronillias [caronillas]
saddle-blankets, typically made of woven wool, or sheepskin wool-side down
carosane [H] [querosén]
kerosene (US: lamp oil)
carpa [=]
carpering, carpiendo, carpired [carpir]
to cultivate – to use a hoe (or cultivator, a farm implement) to build soil into ridges around the roots of row crops such as maiz / corn.
carpincho /a [=]
the largest rodent in the world (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), it is herbivorous; semi-aquatic it lives near water, diving into rivers or lakes when frightened.  About 1.0-1.3m long, males weigh as much as 65kg. - about the size of a pig covered in coarse brown hair with a large square head.  Not endangered, it is valued for its meat and hides which are very soft when tanned. a.k.a.“capibara”, in Guaraní: “kapi-yva”, in English: “capybara”
carpinteria [=]
carpentry, carpentry-shop
carral [H] [corral]
see corral.
see Correntino.
(i) race, as in: horse race
(ii) a race horse - per context
carreta [=]
cart.  During the 1800's, and earlier, the traditional cart of the pampas was 2-wheeled and pulled by 1 to 3 yokes (yuntas) of oxen (bueyes).  Its wheels were 2-2½ meters in diameter with large solid wood hubs, joined by a solid wood axle upon which rested the cart's cargo box (caja, cajón), 4 meters long by 1-1½ meters wide.  The box floor was made up of the foot of the 6½ meter long tongue (pertigo or: lanza) and two parallel 4 meter long spars, held together by cross-spars (teleras). A leather sack (buche) was often attached in front &/or behind the box.  The tongue extended forward from the box 2½ meters, with a yoke (yugo) attached to its tip for the nearest pair of oxen, known as the pertigueros.  Each side of the box was made up of woven rushes supported by six vertical stakes.  Six high wood hoops were attached the pairs of stakes across the box; the hoops supported a roof of tightly sown cattle-hides.  For more details, see buche, buey / bueyes, castilla, coyunta, dorsal, yunta, pertigo, & pertigueros.
Note: In the 1960's & 1970's, much smaller open carretas (catangos) were still used in Neuquen province - they had solid wood wheels cut from a log (at most 1½ meters in diameter) and were pulled by a single pair of oxen; the driver led them by resting a long bamboo cane on their yoke (mischeivous kids noticed fishing-rods also worked...). 
carretilla [=]
(i) trebol de carretilla - a clover (Medicago arabica) (see AABz, 1895 Jun 14)
(ii) pasto carretilla - a grass that spreads via stolons (horizontal stems)
(iii) wheel-barrow
carro [=]
cart, typically 4-wheeled.
“carro volcado”
“overturned cart” is a site on or local to L.Palmares
carrona, carronilla
see caronilla
cartucho [=]
Casa de Fomento
Town municipal offices.
casco [=]
the estancia headquarters.  It can sometimes be quite substantial on large estancias (e.g. in their hey-days: La California, Las Tres Lagunas, Los Algarrobos). A casco consisted of the owner’s house and parkland, plus individual housing for the mayordomo, capataz, bookkeeper, key married workmen, rooms for the household and field workmen, additional buildings for admin. office, butcher’s shop, store, dairy (tambo), kitchen to feed the workmen, blacksmith and machine repair shop (herreria), as well as the requisite barns (galpón), sheds, garages, windmills, and water reservoirs (tanque). The corrales adjoined but not too closely because of dust (& irate wives) – all surrounded by a planted woodland (monte).
On the pampas, estancias that have shrunk (typically split up through inheritance), substancial cascos have become non-productive burdens.  The need for a large infrastructure has been much reduced by good roads, good commnunications, & modern farming methods & equipment.
caserola [=]
cook-pot, casserole
casilla [=]
small house, typically mounted on a 4-wheeled cart frame; used to house workmen in the field. Some of the old casillas from La California still exist, used for storage at La California & El Piquete. Modern day equivalents are mounted on 4-wheel traillers.
castilla [=]
an enclosed 2-wheel cart (carreta).  The cart's box was fully enclosed with small side-windows; at a distance it looked like a rolling castle (castillo rodante).  One was used on the first cattle drive from La California to Laguna Yacaré (April, 1884).
cat / wild cat
see gato montes, puma, & jaguar
catre [=]
simple narrow bed / cot, similar to a field bed of canvas or burlap, typically supported on crossed legs of wood.
cavallete/a [caballete]
see caballete
ceibo [=]
The tree and national flower of Argentina (Erythrina cristagalli). A subtropical broadleaf tree native to South America, with a twisted trunk & many branches, not overlly tall, it is deciduous with brilliant red flowers. a.k.a.seibo, in English: “Cockspur Coral tree”
cencerro [=]
a bell worn by a cow (i.e.  a cow-bell) or mare so it can be found in the dark.  In the case of a mare, it is the madrina that wears the bell
cepayos [zapallos]
squash (of the edible kind), pumpkin – see zapallo
cerca [cerco]
hedge or enclosure (encercar is to enclose)
cerda [=]
horse hair, from the mane & tail.
cerdearing, cerdiared, serdearing [cerdear]
To trim a horse’s cerda, the hair of its mane & tail.
See also: tusar
cerrero [=]
wild, untamed cattle; unbroken horse
certifico [certificado]
certified statement, document, or mail
chacarero, chacrero [chacarero]
(i) someone who makes a living from a small farm (chacra)
(ii) someone who tills/works the soil
chacra [=]
(i) a small farm; see colono
(ii) an area or field cultivated for farming, typically enclosed.
chajá [=]
Named for its disctinctive call, the Chauna torquata is found near marshy areas and lagunas.  It feeds on plants and, rarely, small animals.  It is about 80cm (35") long, weighs about 4kg (8.8lbs.), with a wingspan of 170cm; slow in flight. Native to the Pampas, NE Argentina, all Uruguay, all Paraguay, southern Brazil, & eastern Bolivia & Perú.  In Spanish: Chajá, in English: the Southern Screamer, in Guaraní: Chajá or Chahá.  Not endangered.
chañar [=]
A leguminous tree (Geoffroea decorticans), erect with a spreading canopy, spiny, deciduous, bushy in groups (less than 5 mts tall), lone trees grow taller (10 mts.); its typically curved trunc sheds its bark leaving patchy patterns of green, tan, and brown. Grows in dry arid areas of central and northern Argentina & Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, & Perú. Its yellow fruit is edible (meaty, very sweet, similar to honey), & is used to make chañar arrope, a medicinal drink.
chañaral [=]
a woods or stand of chañar trees, often scrub size
chanarcita [chañarcita]
a small chañar
chañares [=]
plural of chañar
chancamo, chancaneo [-?-]
trample? – see 13 August, 1901
chanchero [=]
pig-man (chancheria is the piggery).
(i) small domestic pig - see chancheria
(ii) If Alfred, likely a small javali
chancho corbato
a wild pig, probably the pecarí de collar, see pecarí
chancho negro
a wild pig, one of the pecarí, see pecarí
see chañaral (in US: undrebrush, scrub)
chaqueño [=]
adjective: of/from the province of the Chaco - see proper names.
charabón [=]
young / juvenile ñandú that has begun its first molt, see rhea
referenced by Alfred as: charybono, charybo (4 Aug'84, 16 Feb'85)
charata [Chachalaca charata]
Large olive-brown bird (Ortalis canicollis) inhabits the central South American forests (northern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, & Brazil), feeds on fruit, leaves, insects; perches in trees, its loud clattering call is very noisy.  a.k.a. in English: "Chaco Chachalaca".
charco, charcas [charco]
puddle/s (of water)
charqui [=]
jerked beef – salted strips of sun dried meat
charquiared, chasquiared, charqueared [charquear]
to salt and dry meat in the sun, to make charqui;
charybono, charybo [charabón]
see charabón
chasqui, chasques [chasqui]
mounted messenger, mail-man. Name comes from Quichua, meaning: messenger runner.
chica / chico [=]
(i) small
(ii) girl or boy
chicaje [=]
smaller/younger animals, herd of them
chicara, chicarre [chicarrero]
pen, for small livestock (pigs, calves, chickens)
chilca [=]
A blooming shrub (Baccharis salicifolia or azumiate), a sage scrub, found near water in dry areas from the southwestern US to central Chile & Argentina.  Height: 0.8-2.0 m., long pointed sticky leaves, pink/red tinged flowers.  The common name “Chilca” comes from the Mapuche indians.  In Mexico: azumiate, mula grasa, batamote, in US: mule fat, seepwillow, water-wally.
china [=]
folksy criollo term for a woman or wife - not vulgar
chinaje [=]
folksy criollo term for women as a group, as in “women-folk”
chiquero [=]
small pen, typically for goats or sheep
chiquito / chiquita [=]
(i) small
(ii) small child
chispa [=]
chivero [chiquero]
small pen - see chiquero
choclo [=]
corn (maiz) on the cob for eating as in sweet-corn, in the camp usually from field corn.
choique [=]
the correct term for the lesser rhea of Patagonia and Andes foothills.  See rhea for more details.
choriado [chorreado]
brindle (dog or horse coloring).  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
chorizo [=]
(i) sausage;
(ii) hut structural element: a sausage of straw (paja) mixed with mud used in building the walls of a hut.  The mud was prepared in a pisadero where horses trampled in straw and their dung; the mix was allowed to rot for a few days before it was used to make chorizos or to plaster walls. A wall was (still is) made by bending successive layers of chorizos across horizontal supports - a skeleton of cañas (today wire) attached to posts (name), one layer at a time with each layer folded down over the lower layers.  The walls are then rough plastered with the mud.  The last finer layer of plaster was mud made with horse dung without the straw.  In particular, see cumbrera, other elemenst are: caballete, caña, costanera, horcón, paja, pisadero, tijeras.
chorlo [=]
Most likely the Chorlo Pampeano (Pluvialis dominica); a small-medium sized bird, spotted gold and black with a black neck & breast with white borders.  It has one of the longest migration paths: nesting in northern Alaska and Canada, wintering in southern Argentina, pampas and patagonia.  Heavily hunted in the late 19th century, its population has never fully recovered.  In English: the American Golden Plover. See Hudson’s Birds
chúcara/o [=]
(i) high-strung/shy/skittish horse; untamed horse
(ii) wild cattle/livestock
chucheria [=]
trinkets, miscelaneous small items
Cia [Cia.]
abbreviation for compañía, i.e. Co. = company.
ciclon [ciclón]
a storm on the pampas with very strong, intense winds, often on a narrow front, destructive - uproots trees, flattens buildings.  
ciervo, cierbo [ciervo]
(i) deer - per context, most likely the “ciervo de los pantanos” - the largest deer of South America (Blastocerus dichotomus), it is reddish-brown, darker in winter, with black legs below the elbows, black muzzle, and white around the eyes and ear edges, up to 1.20m. tall at the shoulder, males can weigh 150kg., females 100kg.  Adult males grow large (60cm.) many-tined (4+) antlers each spring.  Originally found in north-east Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil below the equator, today it is endangered, found only in isolated pockets near esteros and lagunas, particularly national parks. a.k.a: “ciervo isleño”, “ciervo del delta”, in Guaraní: “guazú pukú”, in Englsih: “marsh deer”.
(ii) “ciervo de las pampas” -  see gama, guasuncho, & venado.
cigüeña [=]
stork (Ciconia maguari), found throughout South America in marshy remote areas, excluding Ecuador, Peru, and the patagonia.  Stands 85 cm. tall, white with black primary and secondary wing feathers.  Full names: “Cigüeña americana”, in Guaraní: “tuyango”,  in English: “Maguari Stork”. See Hudson’s Birds
“cilindro & tina” [cilindro y tina]
per context (4 January 1901), cilindro: a wind-mill's well cylinder for pumping water; the cylinder, typically made of brass, goes on the pipe just above the water-line. tina: at a guess, is a small galvanised-metal tank (50-100 litres) placed within the wind-mill tower, near its top.
cinche [cincha]
girth, cinch
cinch cart
see sinch cart
cirdeared [cerdear]
per context (Alfred, 1 May '89), to trim a horse’s mane & tail. See cerda.
clums [-?-]
no idea? (Alfred, 2 Dec. '84)
citared [citar]
filed a complaint with or against (per context)
coatí [=]
The South American coati (Nasua nasua) is about the size of a large house cat, with a slender head, elongated nose - about 75 cm in length, 30 cm. tall, 1-8 kg., & a very long bushy tail (50 cm). Inhabits Paraguay, most of Brazil, & areas next to Brazil of all neighboring countries. Lives in forests, able tree climber; diurnal, omnivorous, eats insects, birds eggs, fruit, small birds & vertebrates. In the wild lives about 7 years; males are solitary, females live in groups.  Not endangered.  Common names: English: South American coati, ring-tailed coati; Guaraní: Kuatí; Spanish: coatí, osito de los palos.
cobrar, cobrared [cobrar]
collect payment, or charge for a sale
cobraring [cobrando]
bill collecting, likely rents from the colonos
cobudo, Cobudo [H]
see cojudo - f***er - crude term for stalion
coche [=]
cocheria [=]
cocking [-?-]
something to do with making hay of cut alfalfa - see La Calif. January, 1899
codo [=]
cohudito, cohudieto [cojudito]
diminutive of cojudo, see cojudo
cohudo, cohudito [cojudo]
see cojudo
coima [=]
(i) funds for running a gambling table
(ii) modern day: bribe
cojinillo [=]
saddle cover, see recado for a desription in context.
cojero, cojeared
see collero / collear
cojudo, cohudo [cojudo]
Colloquial (& vulgar) term for an intact male (a f***er).  Often used with horses & cattle, the correct (& politer) terms for intact males are: horses: padrillo (stallion); cattle: toro (bull); sheep: carnero (ram).
cojunta, conjunta, cojunda [coyunta]
see coyunta.
cojuntas conjunta, cojunda [coyunta]
See coyunta & carreta.
(i) per context June 11, 1884: yokes of oxen - see yunta.
(ii) per context, Oct.12-13, 1884, a raw-hide lonja (strap) used to tie yoke to oxen - see coyunta.
collera [=]
horse collar - in a draft horse harness; see pechero
collero [=]
yoke strap, harness that holds a yoke in place on an ox
collear [=]
to acustom an ox to the collar
colonia [=]
a settlement, a section of land populated with colonos (settlers), typically small farmers (a.k.a.: chacareros).  Colonias were often promoted by provincial governments, either directly or via contract, to attract immigrant settlers from Europe.  Some settler groups bought their land from the government, e.g. Colonia California near San Javier (SFé) was established by a group of Californians, of which Frank X. Bz (b.1816) was a founding member.  Other colonias were promoted by speculators, e.g. Colonia Espín, in which Frank J. Bz (b.1850) invested heavily, the leading cause of his debts. (See their bios. for more details.) In other cases, the land was rented out, as at La California, the Las Tijeras league was rented out to tenant farmers, as share croppers.
colonist, colono [colono]
(i) settler (usually immigrants from Europe),
(ii) tenant farmer or share cropper (a.k.a.: chacareros).
colony, colonie [colonia]
see colonia
colorado [=]
(i) red;
(ii) horse color: bay or red roan.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
(iii) cattle color: dark red. (e.g. red angus)
Comdte [=]
abbreviation for: Comandante
comestibles [=]
comino [=]
cumin (a spice)
commandante [comandante]
police or military officer (equiv. to a major or colonel)
comisaria [comisaría]
police station
comisario [=]
chief of police
comisario de campo [=]
chief of rural police
comision [comisión]
officially organized group, party, team
“Comisión de Fomento”
Municipal department responsible for the development & maintenance public services, e.g. roads, streets, sewage, water.
comolotes [camalotes]
See camolotes.
companero [compañero]
friend, colleague
completar [=]
to complete, to fill
compostura [=]
a repair, or spare parts for a repair
“con cuero” [=]
“with skin” - see asado
conchacar / conchavar [contratar]
to contract, i.e. to hire someone on contract
conforme [=]
satisfied / in agreement; to formally agree with (in legal terms)
conjunta, conyunta
see coyunta and yunta
conocido [=]
known, known to be
consumo [=]
livestock to be, or was, butchered for food (consumption)
contramarca, contramarking [contramarca, contramarcando]
A counter-mark or act of counter-marking livestock cancels ownership by applying the same brand upside down next to the original; the new owner then applies his/her own brand.  See counter-mark
“contribución directa” [=]
provincial real estate tax levied upon the value of all land and fixed assets, typically paid in quotas (installments).(La California: first mentioned 4 June, 1888.)
convenio [=]
corador [H]
see corredor
cordero [=]
“Cordoba nates”
provincial currency of Córdoba.  At sporadic intervals between 1815 and 1843, the province of Córdoba (also La Rioja) struck its own coins.  See currencies of Argentina on our Measures page.
Cordobes, Cordobese [cordobés]
Someone, or something, of/from the province of Córdoba.
corintinos, Correntinos [correntino]
Someone, or something, of/from the province of Corrientes.
cornaso [cornada/cuernaso]
gored by a horn, jabed by a horn (cuerno)
cornear [descornear ?]
probably to trim the horns - see descornear
corneto [=]
any bovine (bull or cow) with asymetric horns, e.g. with one curved down, the other curved up.
corral, corrales [=]
pen, enclosure; each estancia has a set of them for working cattle or sheep, known collectively as the corrales or bretes – see bretes. Sheep and cattle will have separate sets due to their difference in size.
corralito [=]
small pen - see corral
corral de ramas [=]
corral made of tree branches
corralon [corralón]
Large pen or yard. Depending on context, could be a lumber yard or building-supply yard.
corredor [=]
veranda (long wide porch) on one or more sides of a house (note: pasillo is a corridor or passage within a house)
correspondencia [=]
Correspondence / mail.
corretiada [corretear ?]
per context (July 18, 1892), cattle made to walk about (e.g. making bloated cattle walk causes their stomach & intestines to move, thereby assisting the gas escape)
see carretilla
corrida [=]
hunt / chase, e.g. chasing baguales (wild horses)
“corrida sortija” [corrida de sortija]
A traditional game of the pampas in which riders at a gallop attempt to hook with a needle a small ring hanging from a cross bar above them.  If there are many riders, they are broken into two teams, one on each side of the hanging ring, the teams then alternate turns at hooking the ring.
cortandose [=]
per context (AAB 1901) re river flow: interrupted, cut short
corvata pig
see pecarí labiado
cosecha [=]
Crop or crop season.
costa [=]
coast of a river, or the edge of a monte
(i) La California diaries: refers to the coast of the Paraná river about 70+ km. to its east
(ii) Los Palmares diaries, per context is: either the coast of the Paraná to its east (e.g. the area of Alejandra & Pajaro Blanco), or the coast / banks of one of the rivers or lagunas bordering the camp, rivers Calchaquí or Salado, lagunas.
costaneros [costaneras]
The posts of the outside walls of a hut.  See chorizo, horcón & cumbrera.
costearing [costear / costeando]
travelling along the coast/edge of a river or lake
costillar [=]
side of ribs
“counter mark”, countermark [contra-marcar]
To rebrand livestock (or hides) to show new ownership.  The seller re-brands with his brand upsidedown, the buyer then adds his brand; e.g. Alfred added his brand to cattle he purchased before herding them down to La California.  See also: contramarca & marca liquida.
covered [cubrir]
served, to serve - as in “a male serves a female”.
coyunta, cojunta, conjunta, cojunda [coyunta]
the strap that ties a yoke (yugo) in place upon an ox, as in acoyuntar, the verb “to yoke” (i.e. tie-in) oxen.  See carro, dorsal, pertico, yugo, & yunta.
crecida [=]
(i) swollen, as in a river is swollen or high;
(ii) grown, as in a child has grown
creciendo [=]
(i) rising, as in a river is rising;
(ii) growing
creciente [=]
flash flood, or flood stage
creolina [=]
Creolin.  Disinfectant composed of phenol or phenolic acid and cresol.  Kills fleas & the like.  Alfred dipped sheep in it (diluted).
crespo [=]
curly haired
cria [=]
criollo / criolla [=]
(i) a creole person (literal translation): when referring to people, it originally meant someone of Spanish ancestry born in the colonies. In modern terms it means the country folk of the pampas, their customs, dress, food, songs, and dances. Akin to country and western in the US. In tourist terms, they are the gauchos. A true criollo is a man of his word, he may be of modest means but he takes great pride in his honor.
(ii) Horses: The native criollo breed, akin to the quarter horse in the US, is stocky and strong and is descended from escaped Spanish stock that ran wild on the pampas.
(iii) Sheep: The native sheep are descended from Spanish stock, still found in Corrientes and other remote provinces.
cristianos [=]
Christians, i.e. not indians.
cuadra, cuadrado [cuadra]
a.k.a. in Spanglish: square, sq
19th century measure of distance (150 varas, 130± metres) or land area: 150 x 150 varas (1.69± hectareas). The length of the vara varied slightly by province (for specific details, see our page on Measures.) Though it was made obsolete when Argentina metrified during the 1880's, the cuadra (square) remained in use for many years.
JEBz: used it mostly for area, denoted it with a tiny square:   e.g 200
AABz: used it mostly for distance, denoted it with a lozenge: ◊
La California: its first fields were each 100 cuadras (168.7 has.).
cuadrilla [=]
(i) crew of peones (workmen) on an estancia. See Administrador for more about the management hierarchy of an estancia.
(ii) bands: baguales (wild horses - Dec.'84); hunters (July '98)
(iii) small band of cattle
cuarta, quarta [cuarta]
(i) quarter;
(ii) a measure of length, one quarter (cuarta) of a vara, i.e. 21.6 cm. in Santa Fé;
(iii) a measure of dry volume, most likely a contraction of ”cuartilla”  which is one quarter (cuarta) of a fanega, i.e. 55 litres. (See our page on Measures.)
cuatí [coati]
see coati
cuartel [=]
army barracks
cubiertos [=]
cucharon [cucharón]
Alfred, 1897: Possibly a spoonbill duck (Anas clypeata); migrates between North and South America.
cuenta [=]
a cuenta: on account
cuero [=]
skin, hide
cuereared [cuereado]
“cuero cortado” [=]
skin, hide that has been cut or has holes, i.e. was poorly skinned
“cuero de tigre” [=]
jaguar skin
cuero perdido [=]
lost skin (i.e. skin damaged/rotted, not salvajable)
“cuero potros” [=]
(young) horse hides
“cuero vuelto” [=]
“hide returned” - applies to livestock sales, price excludes the hide, i.e. the hide is returned after slaughter.
cumbrera [=]
hut structural element: the roof ridge-pole, often curved up in the middle for added height, as well as the lower horizontal tie-beams along outside walls.  The cumbreras rest on horcones (forked posts); joining the the ridge-pole and the tie-beams are lighter beams (tijeras).  The tijeras in turn support a layer of canes (caña) upon which lies the thatched roof of paja.  See the other elements: caballete, horcón, tijeras, caña, paja, chorizo
curandera, curandero [=]
homeopathic curer/healer, medicine man - a person who dispenses “natural” cures often of little curative value.  Still found today (2020) in remote areas where trained medical doctors are not readily at hand.
curar, cureared [curar]
see cured.
cureared [cuerear]
skinned, from cuerear - to skin
cured [curar]
to treat animals, usually for fly-blown wounds and such. See desembichar.
curero [=]
slang Spanish term the livestock being treated - see cured
curupi [curupí]
A subtropical tree [Sapium haematospermum, family: Euphorbiaceae], 9-12 m. tall, with 12cm. long narrow dark green leaves, yellow flowers, & red fruit; native to southern Brazil, Paraguay, north & central Argentina, Uruguay, & the shores & delta of the Paraná river.  Its sticky sap (from vertical cuts in its bark) can be used as glue, and has been tested as a source of rubber.  In Spanish, also known as: curpi, Lecherón, Árbol de la leche, Blanquillo.  In Guaraní: curupí-caí, in Mocoví: Roic.
per context, likely: castrated; see capar

  - D -DIDO

danino [dañino]
damaging, destructive
“de aparte” [=]
separately. apart from (? - 1898 Apr 16 - AABz)
decreto [=]
”de cuento” [=]
per counted
de luz [=]
clear, e.g. 2.60mts. de luz = 2.60mts. clear
de marca [=]
per brand
de recebó [de recibo
ready, done, ready to be delivered
”de valde” [de balde]
work on his own account, in vain (Alfred 21 May'85)
see ciervo, gama, guasuncho, & venado.
delgado [=]
slim, skinny
delgadar, delgazar [adelgar]
to slim down
see dilegence
demandared [demandar]
official questioning or suit; to bring suit
demijohn, demijuan, demejuanas [damajuana]
5, 10, or 20 litre bottles, typically encased in a wicker-basket, used for wine, liquor (caña), chemicals, etc.
dentudo [dentudo]
a “toothy” slim fish (Acstrorhynchus sp.), about 25cm long, common to the tropical & subtropical rivers & lagunas of South America.  A voracious predator of smaller fish.  It is bright silver with a greenish back, and has small scales, large eyes, and a large mouth with sharp conical teet. Various species with non-specific common names: dientón, dientudo dorado, dientudo paraguayo, pez cachorro, pez zorro. In English, it is known as: freshwater barracuda, or spotted cachorro.
depenenties [dependientes]
deposito [=]
(1901) AAB's term for a water reservoir - see tank for details
derake [H]
desaguar, desaguared [desaguar]
drain / drained
desaguadero [desaguadero]
drain, drainage ditch
descansar [descansar]
desconosidas [desconocidas]
per context: unknown / unbranded livestock
descornar, descornared, descornado [descornar]
to de-horn cattle: the entire horn, or more often just its tips, is removed to reduce the possibility wounding others.  De-horning is usually done at weaning.  See yerra.
Polled (mocho) cattle are selectively bred without horns.
descuadrillado [descuadrillado]
dislocated (arm or leg)
desecho, desechando
see deshecho
desembichar /ed [desembichar]
treat fly-blown wounds; typically involves clearing eggs and maggots out of wounds and applying an ointment that kills eggs and/or dissuades re-infestation. See cured and embichado.
desgrained, desgranared [desgranar]
shell corn/maiz, shelled
deshacer [=]
dismantle, undo
deshecho, deshechado [=]
worn out, no longer productive livestock
deshechar, dehechando [=]
to reject, rejecting livestock
desnucar, desnucared[= / desnucado]
break neck, broken neck
despatched, dispatched [(i) despachar; or: (ii) despidir]
(i) despachar: send / post / dispatch;
(ii) despedir: dismiss or fire (an employee)
see disparared
desparared, desparada
see disparared
desparramada [=]
scattered, scattering
desrumbando [from: derrumbar]
caving-in, collapsing [to collapse, to cave-in].
destroncando [=]
removing tree stumps
desvasar, devasar [desvasar]
clean & trim horse hooves.
see desvasar
desvio [=]
in railroad terms: a siding or side-track
diario [=]
dilegence [diligencia]
A diligencia is an errand; however, in the context of the diaries it refers to the light express / hitch wagon (vagoneta) used by estancias to run daily errands into the local town for small purchases, mail, fresh bread, etc.  These light wagons, pulled by a team of 2 or 4 horses, fared far better in mud than automobiles.  The advent of paved roads and 4x4 trucks rendered them obsolete.  The La California diligencia was still making its daily run into Las Rosas during the early 1950’s.
dip, dipping
A dip is a long narrow vat filled with water through which livestock are made to swim (aka: plunge dipping) thereby immersing and soaking their skin and hair/wool.  Chemicals are added to the water that kill various external pests, e.g. ticks (Texas Tick fever), mites (scabbies), flies, lice.  A cattle dip is roughly 10 metres long, water 2 deep, 1 wide), a sheep dip is considerably smaller.  The chemicals used can be very toxic.
see desechar
dishacer [deshacer]
dismantle, undo
disecho [deshecho]
see deshecho
discharged, disechared [despedir]
(i) let go, rejected, terminated employment (see despatched)
(ii) unload or hand-over (Aug. 1892)
discornared, discornered
see descornar
discounted [descontado]
JEBz diaries: Typically refers to a discounted loan or note (bill) taken out at a bank. The loan includes the interest and stamp taxes, i.e. the net amount received is the loan amount less interest and taxes.
disembichar /ed /ing [desembichar]
See desembichar.
disgrain /ed /ing, disgranaring [desgranar]
to shell corn/maiz
dishechada/o [deshechado]
see deshechado
dismamantared [desmamar / destetar]
to wean, weaned
disnucared [desnucado]
see desnucar
disparada [=]
a stampede; a panicked flight (typically of livestock)
disparared [disparar]
(i) stampeded
(ii) to stampede, e.g. cattle stampeded;
(iii) to fire a gun
disparrama [desparrame]
to scatter or a scattering
disparramared [desparramado]
see despatched
displayado [desplayado]
(i) clearing in the monte (woods)
(ii) flood plain, land exposed when floods recede (or tide goes out)
dispoblar [despoblar]
to unsettle, to evacuate / leave
dispunta [despunta]
per context, where river doubles back (Alfre 27 Nov.'85)
dispuntaring [despuntando]
trimming burrs and barbs (e.g. from fence posts)
disrumbared [derrumbe]
caved in - see desrumbando
divisorio [=]
dividing (e.g. dividing fence)
distarra [-?-]
(AABz 12 Nov, 1897) at most?
$ [peso - NOT dollar]
In the camp diaries, this symbol symbol denotes the peso, see peso. It does NOT denote the US dollar unless specified.
domar [=]
to tame, horses to ride, and draft animals
domador [=]
a tamer, if unqualified, then: a horse tamer
domared, domaring [domando]
taming or breaking-in horses.
doradillo, doradito, ordillo, doridillo [doradillo]
light bay/red.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
dormeinte [durmiente]
see: durmiente
dormitorio [=]
dorsal [-?-]
harness part attached to the tongue (pertigo) of a cart (carreta).  We don't know its function, but we suspect it could be what attaches the traces (tiras) of the lead pairs of oxen to the tip of the tongue (pertigo).  (Alfred, Oct.11, 1884)
dorzida, dorcida
(i) see dorsal
(ii) see laso dorcida
drogueria [=]
Drug-store, farmacy; or items from such.
Duncans cure
See Sugar of Lead
Alternative name for the Shorthorn breed of cattle.
durmiente [=]
rail-road tie/sleeper

  - E -EQ

See señal.
egualars [iguala / igualar]
matches, equals
elegido [=]
embalsado [=]
 ”balsa“ is a raft; ”embalsado“ could be a raft-load or a jerry-built raft
embarared [embarar]
to apply or cover with mud, e.g. to plaster a wall with mud.  Revocar is probably more correct.
embarcar, embark, embarked [embarcar]
 to load goods for shipment, to ship, e.g. cattle by train
embargar, embaragared [embargar]
to embargo or seize, i.e. by court order
embichado /as [=]
(Also: abichado) A fly-blown animal. Flies lay their eggs in wounds, the eggs hatch into larvae (maggots) that then feed on and enlarge the wound.  For treatment, see desembichar.
embichared, embechared [embichado]
fly-blown animal - see embichado
embra [hembra]
embretared [embretado]
(i) to place cattle in bretes
(ii) to be in or be put in a difficult situation
empacar, impacared [empacar]
(i) to be unyielding, e.g. a horse refuses to move (tired or just plain stubborn)
(ii) to take a stand, e.g. a cornered animal stops and faces its tormentors
emparvar, emparvando [=]
stack hay, stacking hay
empastado [=]
bloated, as when cattle suffer or die from bloat [empaste], typically caused by eating young alfalfa that froths up and swells the rumen into the space needed by the lungs to expand during breathing.
empatanared [empantanado]
bogged down (stuck) in mud; word root is: pantano - bog
(i) car stuck in a mud-hole in the road (before paved roads)
(ii) livestock (cattle) stuck in the muddy shores of a river or laguna
“en cerco”
see encercar
“en dos”
by twos; two at a time
“en pelo” [en pelo]
bareback - litteraly to ride “on hair”
“en rodeo”
see rodeo
encajada, encajared [encajada/o]
stuck, as in bogged-down in mud (see empantanared / empantanado)
encargado [encargado]
the person in-chage of a task or place.  Can be a manager, capataz, or anyone higher management has designated.
encargared [encargar]
(i) requested, or placed an order
(ii) in-charge of / authorized
encargoes [encargues]
(i) requests;
(ii) requested/ordered items
enceinta [encinta]
with child (polite form of embarazada - pregnant). A pregnant animal is: preñada.
encercar [=]
(i) to enclose or surround, e.g. with a hedge (cerco is a hedge);
(ii) to encircle or box-in cattle, or prey when hunting.
encomienda [=]
(i) parcel post; courier or package sent by courier;
(ii) an errand or request, often as a favor.
enparvar, emparvar [emparvar]
to stack hay, make a hay-stack.
enrederos [enredados/enredado]
enredadera is a climbing vine/plant.  enredado is to be entangled/matted by it
enronchado [enronchado]
to be covered in ronchas - discolored swellings or bruises, e.g. from insects bites.
ensenada [=]
large corral or enclosure - typically grassy, much smaller than a potrero (field).
entregared, entregaring, entregó [entregar]
handed over / delivered / delivering
entre pelado [entrepelado]
horse coloring: hair a mixture of several colors, often none predominating.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
Entre Riano [entreriano]
Someone from the province of Entre Rios
envernada, envernar
see invernada
equipaje [=]
equivocación [=]
epedemis [-?-]
(wool or skin, see 27 Oct., 1891)
escribania [=]
Notary’s office.
escribano, escribano publico [Escribano Público]
Notary public in Argentina. In US terms they are equivalent to a para-legal or lawyer specialized in contract law.  (Today, an Escribano Público must first study law for 4-6 years, then Derecho Notarial (Notary Law), another 2 years of specialization.)  Most contracts (e.g. land sales) must be written and certified by an Escribano Público.  Escribanos charge a fixed percentage of the value of the contract; the percentage rate is determined by their colegio (association).  The advent of computers has made their tasks easier and their rates can be negotiated down.
escriturar [=]
draw up / write a legal offer or contract with the aid of an escribano - see above.
espadaña [=]
bulrushes (often used as a building material, see caña)
espartilla [espartillo o esparto]
Espartillo  is a common name applied to several harsh native grasses of Argentina, however, the following are specific to northern Santa Fé:
(i) A perennial grass (Spartina spartinae, formerly S. argentinensis), 60-70 cm. tall, spreads by seeds and rhizomes, forms immense fields in the salty lowlands of northern Santa Fé, NE Córdoba, Formosa, & Chaco. (a.k.a.: paja chuza).  Native to NE Argentina, Paraguay, & the Gulf of México.
(ii) A perennial bunch grass (Spartina densiflora), displaces S. spartinae alongside rivers in flood prone salty soils throughout the NE 13 of Argentina; forms dense tufts up to 1½ metres tall, with long narrow leaves; invasive.
see expedición
espiga [=]
cob - as in “corn cob”. If “in espiga” then it is a partial translation of en espiga - on the cob.
espinillo, espín [espinillo]
a short spiny tree (Acacia cavenia, 3-4 meters high, yellow flowers) standing alone or in small groups, found in the northern pampas and chaco regions. See also algarrobo and ñandubai. Believed to have disgestive & medicinal properties.
estaca [=]
stake, as in horses tied to a stake.
estacar [=]
stake out hides
estaciadero [estacadero]
(i) place where hides are staked-out for drying
(ii) frame to which hides are attached for drying
estanbro [??]
per context, a shed or shelter
estancia [=]
ranch, hacienda, fazenda, station – usually spoken of as a camp.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900's, Argentine estancias were akin to Texas ranches: extensive cattle and crop enterprises. See administrador for more on the management hierarchy of an estancia.  See casco for a description of a typical estancia headquarters.
estaciar, estaciared [estaquiar]
to peg-down.  To estaciar cuero de tigre is to stretch and peg down the skin of a jaguar.
estanciero [=]
estancia owner, i.e. rancher - see administrador.
estantes [=]
(i) shelving, cubboards
(ii) posts or supports for a cross-beam. See horcon and cumbrera.
esterito [=]
small estero
estero [=]
a large expanse of low land, a marsh mostly under water, filled with thick stands of tall grass (paja), its open water partly covered by floating hyacinth (camalotes)
estrapiadas [estraviadas]
strays, as in cattle that strayed off
estropeado [=]
crippled or damaged (typically refers to an animal knocked-about by rough treatment)
Eucalyptus, eucaliptus [Eucalyptus]
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia where they are known as gum trees.  There are several different variates – see Wikipedia.  Eucalyptus and paraiso trees (china berry trees, from Africa) were popular trees in the treeless pampas because they grow fast and locusts do not eat them. 
(i) Eucalyptus tereticornis is from eastern Australia, sown by Alfred A. Bz (1937).
expedicion, espedicion [expedición]
(i) hunting expedition
(ii) campaign or posse against the indians
exportación [=]
export – often better quality stock sold for export, i.e. better prices
“exposición rural” [=]
Agricultural show (fair), typically organized by a sociedad rural at the town, county, or provincial level. The national exposición rural is held every winter (sometime during July through September) at the Palermo show grounds in Buenos Aires and is organized by the Sociedad Rural Argentina – known as the Palermo Show amongst Anglo-Argentines. JEBz: judged Durham (short-horn) cattle at the show in Rosario.

  - F -

probably an abbreviation for peso fuerte.  See“peso duro”.
faja [faja]
Sash, typically made of fine wool.  Part of the traditional dress of the hombre de campo - camp-man (peón or gaucho).  See also: alpargatas, bombachas, tirador.
falso [falso]
faulting [faltando]
missing (i.e. one short, absent) [Alfred: 27 May'92]
fanega [fanega]
pre-metric measure for grain by volume. In Santa Fé: 220 litres, 6.24 bushels.  In modern terms: 1 fanega = 173.7 kg. wheat, = 185.3 kg. maiz, = 139 kg. maiz+cob. See almud & cuarta.  (See our page on Measures.)
farina, farinha [farina]
wheat meal - actually it is an English term but included here,  for non-cooks. Fine ground whole wheat, analogous to corn-meal (polenta), or oat-meal / porridge (US / UK).
felastico [-?-]
roll of wire? (Alfred 17 Feb'85)
feretteria [=]
(i) iron-works, metal tools, most likely black-smithing tools & supplies, a.k.a.herreria.
(ii) in modern terms, it is a hardware store.
fiambre [=]
thinly sliced meat: cold meats, cold cuts
fiared [fiar]
to sell on credit; to give credit
fideo [=]
pasta, spaghetti
fiesta [=]
fijared [fijar]
(i) to set a price
(ii) to check or check up on
(iii) to attach
finado [=]
the late (dead person)
finca [=]
Farm, however, in Argentina specifically means a fruit farm or vineyard.
“fine point”
leading/select group of livestock. See point
“fine rams”
better quality rams, likely pedigreed
fino [=]
fine, better or best quality
flacage [=]
skinny cattle, as a group or classification
flaco [=]
thin, skinny
flacura [=]
thining, starving. La California diaries: Mentioned on 8 Oct. ’88, the end of winter. In central Santa Fé winters (June-Sept.) are typically very dry with almost no rain, so that by the end of winter grass for feed is often scarce.
flamenco [=]
fonda [=]
inn (lodging & meals)
fortin [fortín]
small fort; chains of them were set up across the pampas to provide protection against the indians (e.g. see our map of Los Palmares, north Santa Fé).
fosfores [fosforos]
matches (to light a fire)
fotografista [fotógrafo]
Freisian horse, frisan, frissan
A breed of black light draft horses originating in Freisland, the Netherlands. Also knows as: Belgian Black
frison, frisones [=]
Freisian horses - see Freisian
freno [=]
entire bridle, or just the bit, depending on context
frente [=]
in front of, across from.
frison, frisson
see Freisian horse
frutas [fruta]
fuente [=]
“fuero de enteco y disecho” [fuera de enteco y deshecho]
excluding sickly and worn-out
fuerte [=]

  - G -GD

gagared [-?-] [gaguer?]
stuttered ?
gain [ganar, ganan]
when discussing wages: earn, earnings, e.g. gain $2.00 per day.
galera [=]
stage-coach pulled by a team of 6 riders on horseback
galgo [=]
greyhound dog
galletas, galletes [galleta]
(i) a bread which when dry flakes easely. Estancias provided it to their workmen because it would keep for a long ime;
(ii) today, galletitas are dry crackers / biscuits (US / UK terms respectively)
(iii) per context, likely a horse color, pale brown?
galpon [galpón]
barn or large shed
galponcita/o, galponsito [galponcito]
small barn or shed
gama [=]
a small reddish-brown deer of the pampas (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) - max. height: 70cm. at the shoulder, weight: 40kg.  Males grow antlers, typically 3 points.  Once numerous, it is currently endangered due to habitat loss.  a.k.a.venado de las pampas”, “ciervo de las pampas”, “ciervo pampero”, in Guaraní: “guazú-tí”, in Englsih: “pampas deer”.  See also ciervo, guasuncho, & venado.
gamita [=]
little gama
“gangrena gaseosa”
see mancha
garrapata [=]
tick; cattle ticks cause loss in condition, severe anemia, and itching.
garrua [garúa]
drizzle, a light rain
garza, garza mora [=]
A heron, the garza mora (Ardea cocoi) stands 1-1.3 metres tall (40-50 inches), similar to but larger than the grey heron, with darker markings & orange beak and legs; slow & elegant in flight.  Widespread throughout South America, today not endangered.  During the late 1800’s its long feathers were prized for ladies hats.
garzal [=]
heron rookery
gastos [=]
gateado [=]
line back.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
gatear [=]
to walk very quietly, i.e. “on tip-toes”; to creep up like a hunting cat, very quietly, maybe crouching.
gato colorado [=]
(i) today, the gato colorado (Laopardus guigna) is one of several small cats that inhabit patagonia and/or the Andes mountanous regions of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Perú, & Ecuador. Others include: colocolo (Leopardus colocolo), & Gato de las pampas (Leopardus pajeros).  None are likely to have been seen (or hunted) in the Argentine Chaco region.
(ii) the gato del pantanal or gato de los pajonales del Plata (Leopardus braccatus, often classified as a subspecies of the colocolo) inhabits NE Argentina, Uruguay, central & south Brazil, Paraguay, & eastern Bolivia.  About the size of a domestic cat, yellowish-brown fur with dark brown spots or rusty-brown with faint spots, whitish throat, dark lines on cheeks, legs, & chest.  (Likely Alfred Bz's gato colorado, 14 march 1898).  In English: “Pantanal Cat”, in Guaraní: [-?-]
gato montes [gato montés]
The smallest wild cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) found in central & north Argentina, its territory encompases Argentina & Chile north of the Patagonia, all of Uruguay & Paraguay, southern Brazil, & south-eastern Bolivia. Crepuscular & nocturnal it sleeps by day hiding up high in trees or in tree hollows.  It feeds on small mamals, birds, & fish.  Similar to a domestic tabby cat, but larger & more robust: average weight: 4.8 kg., body length: 45-75 cm., tail: 25-35 cm., height: 30 cm.  Once the most numerous wild cat in Argentina, it is currently highly endangered due to habitat loss & illegal hunting.  a.k.a. “gato moteado grande”, “gato de Geoffroy”, in Guaraní: “mbaracayá”, in English: “Geoffroy's Ocelot” or “Geoffroy's Cat”, or by Alfred et al: “wild cat”.
gato morra
(1895 Aug 18) colloquial local term - either the gato montes or gato overo
gato once, gato onza [gato onza]
a small wild cat (Leopardus pardalis, formerly: Felis pardalis), dark spotted on a tan coat, white belly, 10-15 kg., up to 1.30 meters including its tail.  Crepuscular & nocturnal, lives in jungles from the south-west US to north Argentina, feeds on small animals and birds.  In danger of extinction. a.k.a.: titica, tiricón, ocelote, gato tigre; in English: “ocelot”; in Guaraní: “chiví guazú”.
gato overo [gato pintado?]
probably the gato pintado (Leopardus wiedii, formerly: Felis wiedii).  Similar to the gato onza / ocelot, smaller (40-60 cm long, less than 4 kg.) with more pronounced coloration (dark spots/rings), long heavy tail, & large eyes.  Nocturnal, great tree climber, found in dense forests from Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay. a.k.a. in Spanish: gato tigre, margay, tigrillo; in English: “margay”; in Guaraní: “maracayá”.
gde [grande]
large (standard abbreviation)
Gefe Politico, Gefe [Jefe Politico]
see Jefe Politico
genero [=]
gente [=]
gerente [=]
ginebra [=]
ginete [jinete]
giro [=]
money order, also: bank draft or bank-transfer
see guiso
golpeared [golpeado]
struck, hit, banged-up as in an accident (golpe is a bang or punch)
gordo [=]
fat, as in over-weight
gran bestia [=]
the great beast, common name for the South American tapir - see its entry
grande [=]
granizo, granizando [=]
hail, hailing - rain in the form of ice; very destructive to vegetation, particularly crops
grano [=]
(i) grain,
(ii) common name for carbuncle or anthrax, refers to the dark pustules (grains) that appear in the skin.  A bacterial disase the affects ruminants (cattle, sheep, deer), often fatal.  Highly contagious, it can infect humans but is today treatable with antibiotics.
Guabivi [Guabirá]
a.k.a. Guabiroba, Ibá-virá (Campomanesia xanthocarpa)
A semi-deciduous tree with a dense pyramid shaped crown, 4-20 mts tall, & a trunk 30-50 cm. in diameter.  It grows in poorly drained areas in a belt from southern Bolivia across Paraguay, NE Argentina, & Brazil to Rio de Janeiro.  Its yellow fruit (almost the size of an apricot) is edible & greatly appreciated.
guacho, guascho, guatcho [guacho]
(i) orphan animal or child;
(ii) volunteer crop plant, i.e. a crop plant out of place or season.
(iii) perverse person - see guaso
guanaco [=]
The guanaco or huanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a member of the llama family; 1-1¼ metres tall (at shoulder), weighing approx. 90 kg (200 lb), light brown to dark cinnamon coat shading to a white belly with grey faces and small straight ears. Herbivorous, they live in groups, ranging from the Patagonia in Argentina & Chile to the Altiplano of Peru.  Though greatly reduced in numbers, they are not endangered.  The name comes from wanaku in Quichua. Young guanacos are: chulengo(s).
guape [=?]
likely a horse coloring
guapo [=]
(i) physically competent / capable
(ii) good-looking, handsome man
Guaraní [=]
Indian tribe of north-eastern Argentina, southern Brazil, and all of Paraguay.  Their language is still spoken widely in that area today.  It is also one of the two official languages of Paraguay, the other is Spanish. 
guareguay [aguariguay]
a tree, see aguariguay
guasca [=]
raw-hide, strip of rawhide
guaso [=]
(i) perverse person
(ii) term for an oily river fish (?)
guasuncho [=]
a small greyish-brown deer (Mazama gouazosubira with very short simple antlers (i.e. 10 cm. spikes), originally common throughout South America's dry open areas and the edges of swamps and forests.  Maximum height: 65cm., weight less than 20kg.  a.k.a.: viracho, masuncho, in Guaraní: “guazú virá”, in English: “gray brocket deer”.  See ciervo, gama, & venado.
guazu guiras
(1895 Aug 18) Alfred’s bag list, could mean big birds in Guaraní: guazu - big; guyra - bird
guia [guía]
Permit to move livestock (a Bill of Lading); required for all movements of livestock between locations (e.g. estancia, market), including movements between properties of the same owner.  Issued by local police, documents the ownership, head-count, brands, etc. being moved.  See also pasé.
“gum trees”
most likely eucalyptus trees, term borrowed from Australia.
guiso, guisado [=]
stew of meat, rice, and potatoes.  Also made with mandioca (manioc).
guzanas [gusanos]
worms, grubs, caterpillars
see guacho

  - H -

ha., Hs. [ha.]
abbreviation for hectare.
hachero [hachero]
(i) wood-cutter, axman;
(ii) see acheno
hacienda [=]
livestock, generally cattle.
“hacienda removida” [=]
movement of livestock, between properties, all same owner
hahuel, haguel [jagüel]
see jagüel
“hand cured”
see desembichar
hechor [=]
male donkey - see burro
hectare, ha., hect. [hectaria]
metric hectare, 100x100 metres square (equal to 2.47 acres); abbreviated: ha. or hect. (See league and our page on Measures.)
hembra, hembre [hembra]
female  (male: macho)
herramientos [herramientas]
honda/o [=]
“honduras grass” [honduras (?)]
a forage grass. Per UN dictionary of agricultural terms, Guatemala or Honduras grass (Tripsacum fasciculatum) is a tall broadleaved perennial with stems up to 3.5 m that grows in humid areas on rich soils. Tolerates acidity. Essentially cultivated for fodder as it is unsuitable for grazing. NOTE: Do not recall seeing any grass at La California meeting this description other than the native Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana).
hooked, “hooked by novillo”
received a horn thrust, by a steer
horcon, horcones, horjones [horcón]
hut structural element: forked posts upon which the ridge-poles and horizontal tie-beams (cumbreras) rest.  In particular, see cumbrera, other elemenst are: caña, chorizo, paja, tijeras.
hornero [hornero]
(i) brick-makers, those who tend the ovens (horno is an oven);
(ii) the oven-bird of the pampas & Chaco (Furnarius rufus) - a short tailed reddish-brown bird with a distinctive call, it makes its nests out of mud in the shape of brick-ovens, hence its name.  In Englsih it is known as the Rofous Hornero or Red Ovenbird.  See Hudson’s Birds
horqueta [horqueta]
(i) forked post that would support a cross beam, such as a hut structural element - see horcón
(ii) livestock ear marking: a notch (muesca) to the tip of the ear. See señal and muesca for more about ear marks.
huntar, huntaring, huntared [juntar]
gathering or to gather / collect
hosico [=]
muzzle of a horse, see pangaré
hurdle gate
free standing barriers made of wood and lath, up to 2 meters long & 1 meter high (6x3 ft), that can be attached together or to a fence to form a pen (corral) for sheep.
huron, hurones [hurón]
(i) The native ferret (Galictis cuja) of South America, from northern Patagonia to southern Bolivia, Paraguay, & southen Brazil.  Black belly, tan back, white stripe along sides beginning at nose & fading down the neck & flanks.  In English: the lesser grison.
(ii) term is also applied (today) to the domesticated ferret or polecat from Europe.

  - I, J, K -JK

imbechared, imbeechared, imbechada [embichado]
see embichared.
see empacar
see empantanared
impastado [empastado]
see empastado
“in beachado” / “in bechado” [H]
see embichared
incargared [encargar]
see encargared
incluso [=]
incorporer [incorporar]
join with, merger with
indiada, indiado [indiada]
(i) mass or large group of indians;
(ii) the native indian people of a place, spoken of as a whole.
indiano/a [=]
adjenctive form of india/o, e.g. yegua indiana = indian mare
india/o [=]
indian (not capitalised, nationalities are not capitalised in Spanish); a.k.a. US: amerindian or Native American.
Ingleses [ingleses]
intrusos [=]
inoculared [inocular]
to inoculate livestock against a disease - either by injection or dose down the throat
inventario [=]
inventory - likely kept for tax purposes
invernada, envernada, inviernada [invernada]
derived from invernar - “to winter”; generic term for young cattle (steers & heifers) that have been weaned and are being grown & fattened for market.  Pastured for 12 – 24 months depending on breed; includes the young/smaller “Recria” (stockers) & later/larger "Engorde" (feeders).  See vacunos for more cattle terms.
isleta [=]
islet - small island
isletita [=]
small isleta
islita [=]
small island
jabalí, javali [jabalí]
The javalí Alfred hunted (1890s) in northern Santa Fé province was most likely the largest of 3 species of pecarí, the pecarí orejudo - see pecarí.
Note: Jabalí, the wild pig of the Iberian peninsular (sus scrofa), was introduced into Argentina in the early 1900s, controlled at first it escaped & spread throughout Argentina north of patagonia in the 1940s and 1950s.
jacana [=]
Water bird (Jacana jacana) similar to a coot: long skinny toes, yellow beak, black head, neck, & chest, rust brown body & wings that are yellow in flight; walks on floating vegetation in rivers and lagunas of NE Argentina, feeds on insects & invertebrates. Not endangered.  a.k.a. in Spanish: gallareta, in English: Wattled Jacana.
jaguar [=]
The largest wild cat in the Americas (Panthera onca), its name is derived from the Guraraní word: yaguá (fierce).  Yellow-orange coat, darker on top with a white underside, covered in black spots with a ringed tail; due to a genetic mutation, the occassional jaguar's coat is entirely black.  It is stout with a large head and the strongest bite of any cat - body length: 70 cm., tail: 80 cm., height at the shoulder: 1 meter, weight: 70-130 kg. It is the only cat in the Americas that roars.  Solitary, it prefers jungles and plains; it is a great swimmer; it hunts large animals (deer, tapir, carpincho, yacaré) and smaller prey of opportunity.  It originally ranged the non-mountainous areas from southern California (USA) to Chubut (Argentina).  Persecuted by humans, it has been pushed off the plains.  Today in Argentina it is listed as endangered and is found only in jungle preserves of Salta, Formosa, Chaco, and Misiones. Spanish: tigre, “tigre americano”, in Guaraní: its name changed (due to European influences) from yaguá to yaguá-eté then yaguareté, in English: jaguar.
jaguel, jarguel [jagüel/jagüeles]
a horse-drawn draw well, usually for watering cattle – in the days before wind-mills, the water was often drawn from open wells using a large metal or leather bucket. The bucket’s rope was tied to the cinch of a rider’s saddle who would raise and lower the bucket by walking his horse back and forth from the well  See early photos taken at La California, ca.1890.  (see baldero, tanque, and bebida.)
jahuel, jahueles
see jaguel [jagüel]
see charata
javali [jabalí]
see jabalí
jefe [=]
Jefe Policía [Jefe de Policia]
Police chief
“jefe politico” [=]
(i) head-man, of a provincial county (departamento)
(ii) mayor of a town.
jeguadad [yeguada]
see yeguada
jeguas [yeguas]
see yegua
jente [gente]
see gente
Jersey (bull)
British breed of milking cows
Johnston grass [Johnston grass]
Originally introduced into Argentina ca.1900 as a forage for livestock.  A variety of Sorghum halepense native to Asia & northern Africa, it reproduces & spreads via rhizomes.  It competes with cultivated crops (e.g. maize, corn), is very hard to control, & is expensive to eliminate.  Considered one of the 10 worst weeds, it is classified as a noxious weed in the US.
jornalero [=]
day-laborer - a workman paid by the day (jornada). See also mensual.
juez [=]
jugillo [-?-]
per context, a harness part (La California diary, 16 Jan., 1899)
junta [yunta]
see yunta.
juntar, juntared, juntaring [juntar]
(i) to collect, gather
(ii) harvest by hand, e.g. maize
(iii) join
see yuyal
juzgado [=]
court, tribunal
depending on context: kilograms or kilometers
lime in German; specifically unslaked lime, in Spanish: cal viva.  Used as a base for house-paints or to whitewash buildings.
kinta [H]
see quinta.
kintals [H]
see quintal

  - L -LI

“la pesada” [la pesada]
“as weighed”, e.g. priced as weighed - no adjustments.
labrared [labrar]
work at, worked on
laguna [=]
lagoon or small lake on the pampas
lagunita [=]
small laguna, i.e. a small lagoon
lampas / lampers / lampra
inflamation & swelling on the roof of the mouth of horses behind the front teeth.  Called lampers or lampass (in English) because it used to be removed by burning with a lamp or hot iron.
lanar, lanares [lanar, lanares]
sheep livestock (woolies), more refined than ovejas (sheep). The technical term ovinos is often used in official surveys.
lance [lanza]
see lanza
langosto [langosta]
locust. See locust and saltonas.
langostero [=]
a locust man, someone hired to gather/hunt/kill langostas, see locusts
lanza [=]
(i) the draft pole of a cart, to which horses or oxen are harnessed.  a.k.a. pertigo on older carts - see carreta
(ii) a lance or spear
lapacho [=]
A deciduous tree (Handranthus impetiginosus] with bright pink flowers, native to the Americas, from northern Mexico to NE Argentina; it is the national tree of Paraguay.  Slow growing, it can reach 30 mts. in height with a trunc diamter of 80 cm.  Its yellowish wood is very hard (excellent for fence-posts).  Its bark has been used for its supposed medicinal properties.
lasso [laso]
lariat, rope typically made of rawhide (4, 6, or 8 braided strands) used for roping livestock. See trensa and maneador.
lasso dorcida [laso torcida]
lariat similar to a twisted hemp rope but of twisted (not braided) rawhide strands.
latas [-?-]
per context (Alfred 23 Feb.,1892), long branches used in place of cane to build huts of mud and straw (see caña & cumbrera).  The term is most likely the abbreviation of lata'i pobre, a plant who's long branches were/are used in building huts.
lavandera [=]
laundry-woman (before the days of washing-machines, laundry took almost a week (wash, hang-dry, iron); which meant two sets of work clothes were needed, those being laundered and those available to wear)
lbs [libras]
abbreviation (in English) for pounds (libras)  2.2 lbs = 1kg.
league / legue [legua]
(i) distance: 1 league = 5 kilometres or 3 miles
(ii) land area: In the 1880’s it would have been 2,800 hectares (6,000x6,000 varas). Today’s metric league is 2,500 hectares (5x5 km). Estancias were / are typically quoted in leagues. La California was originally 4 leagues, or 11,200 ha. (See our page on Measures.)
lechera [lechera]
milk cow or dairy cow (abbreviation for: vaca lechera).
lecheria [=]
lechiguano, “leche iguana” [lechiguana]
a honey producing non-aggressive wasp (Brachygastra lecheguana), they make their nests of paper (not wax) in trees.  There are several species, from Texas to Argentina; this one inhabits southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, & northern Argentina. The honey is sweet, delicious, aromatic, and not as dense/sticky as bee honey; depending on the flowers from which it is made it can be poisonous.  Their nests last several years and their honey can be harvested annually.  Their name comes from Quichua: lláchiwána - the wasp that makes honey. a.k.a.In Guraraní: camautí (camoatí, camutí, cábachui) - the friendly social wasp.
legua [legua]
see league
leña / lena [leña]
leña / “lena de vaca” [leña de vaca]
fuel of dried cattle dung /chips (buffalo chips, bois de vache) .
león [=]
Colloquial term for puma, see puma.  No lions & tigers in Argentina.
libreria [=]
office supply store, book store
libro mayor [=]
general ledger
lienzo, liensos, lienzas [lienzo]
(i) linen cloth
(ii) large bundle of freshly shorn wool tied up in burlap / hessian sacking (not compressed as into a bale).
(iii) the burlap sack in which wool is wrapped
lindero, lindando [=]
bordering property owner, next-door neighbor
lindo [=]
nice, pretty
lino [=]
lion [león]
Colloquial term for puma.  No lions & tigers in Argentina. 
liston, listones [=]
lath or light plank per context
llaga/yaga [llaga]
Sores/ulcers, or wounds.  (July 1900: Alfred’s neighbos believed incorrecty that these caused abortions, see Brucellosis.)
lluvia [=]
lobo, “lobo del monte” [“lobo del monte”, “lobo argentino”]
(i) wolf — see aguara;
(ii) could be a contraction of: lobito de rio (river otter).
“lobito de rio” [=]
the river otter (Lontra longicaudis) of Central & South America.  Like all otters, it is long and sleek - body length: 70 cm., tail:l 50 cm. long, weight: 8-12 kg., males are larger than females.  It lives in or near water and feeds on crustaceans, frogs, molluscs, and other similar small fare.  Loners, and great swimmers, a male's territory may stretch 15 km. along a river (visited every 2-3 days), a female's about half that.  It ranges from Central America to north-eastern Argentina; however, due to its valuable fur, it was heavily hunted 1950-1980 and has become extinct in some areas.  It is now endangered and is protected in Argentina.  a.k.a. “lobito del Plata”, “lobo de agua”, “gato de agua”, in Corrientes: “lobo pé”, in Guaraní: [-?-], in English: “neotropical river otter”.
lobuna /o [=]
light grulla / dun with wolf-like darker shaddows; see Horse Coloring at foot of this page
lobuno rabicano - sorrel/chestnut version
During the summer months clouds of these insects (langostas) would descend upon the pampas from their breeding grounds in the north, devouring everything in their path.  They were so thick, tree branches broke under their weight (Feb'91).  Barreras (barriers) of metal sheets (still found stacked in the back of old galpones) were erected to protect crops by directing the young saltonas (flightless hoppers) into pits where they were burnt using kerosene flame-throwers. Many an estanciero lost his crops, and sometimes his fortune as well, to locusts before they were exterminated in the 1940's & 1950's using DDT. Estancia montes are predominantly made up of paraíso (Chinaberry) trees from Africa and eucaplytus trees from Australia because they were disliked by the locusts.
loma [=]
(i) high-ground; a low hill or brow of a hill,
(ii) mispelled lomo.
lomo [=]
(i) loin (as in a cut of meat),
(ii) the back of an animal.
lona [=]
tarpaulin (tarp) or canvas
lonja [=]
long strap or strip of rawhide
made lonjas
lote [lote]
(i) Field or paddock. See potrero for more details. Term favored by JEBz in his diaries.
(ii) Lot, e.g. at an auction, Lot Nº 123.
lunanka [lunanca]
animal with one hind-quarter higher than the other
luz [=]
(i) light
(ii) clear space/distance

  - M -MARMO

m/n [m/n]
moneda nacional = national currency, standard abbreviation.  See peso moneda nacional.
m/o menos, mo/m [mas o menos]
more or less
macha, macho, marcho [macho]
male  (female is: hembra)
machaje [-slang-]
males, group of males
macho patria [-?-]
(AABz 29 Sep. 1899) - describes a male horse
machona, machorra [machona]
male-like (slang), in referring to a female
madrina [=]
in a horse-herd, the mare with the bell (cencerro) hung from its neck, making it easy to find in the dark, and to which the other mares gravitate.  Term derived from madre – mother. See caballo for more details.
madrinada [=]
trained to follow the madrina
madrugado [madrugada]
early twilight, sunrise
madrugar [=]
to arise with or before the sun
maíz [=]
maize, corn
maizera/o [maicera/o]
of maiz/corn,
(i) as a noun: likely the sacks of heavy burlap used in the harvesting of maiz/corn by hand;
(ii) in horse terminology: it is a horse that is fed on maiz/corn.
maizal [=]
stand or field of corn (maize)
majada [=]
flock of sheep
mala cara, malacara [malacara]
horse with a broad blaze.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
mal-parir/s, malpariendo, malparicion [mal-parir, mal-pariendo, malparición]
miscarriage or having miscarriages; if multiple in a herd, most likely: Brucelosis
malparida [=]
adjective: cow or mare that has suffered a miscarriage
“mal parado”
badly set-up, poorly arranged; cattle poorly rounded up
malo [=]
bad.  In reference to a horse: bad tempered, difficult, possibly even vicious.
malon [malón / malones]
A raiding party of hostile Indians. La California (1874, central Santa Fé): was never threatened by hostile Indians. Los Algarrobos (1896, south-eastern Córdoba): by the time John E. Bz purchased it malones were no longer a threat, however the previous owners had suffered attacks. Los Palmares (1890, north Santa Fé): Alfred A. Bz installed a watch-tower as raids were common, the last took place in 1902. The Indians mostly stole horses & livestock for they were short of food, however anyone caught alone risked being killed. Colonia California (1867, north-east Santa Fé): Frank X. Bz (Uncle Frank) was a founding member of this colony.  Though well defended the colony soon failed on account of the constant Indian raids.
malparición [=]
manada, manad [manada]
herd of brood mares (yeguas), with or without the stallion (padrillo). See caballo for more details..
mañador /es [=]
similar to a laso but made of a single long wide rawhide strap (lonja) with a ring at one end. Typically used with horses because its strap is wide and soft, reducing the risk of cutting their thin skin.  See also manea.
small mañador
manager [administrador]
Within the context of the management of an estancia, he is the head-man, or mayordomo. See administrador for more on the management hierarchy of an estancia.
mancarron, mancaron [mancarrón]
generic/unremarkable horse. See caballo for more terms.
manca /o [=]
lame on a fore-foot (of a quadruped animal).  Lame on a back-foot: renga /o.
mancha [=]
(i) stain;
(ii) the common name for an infectious bacterial disease (Gangraena emphysematosa) of cattle and sheep, known as “blackleg” in English (a.k.a. in Spanish: gangrena gaseosa).  Before the advent of vaccines (1897 in the US) it was highly lethal, particularly among young animals.  Named for the spongy swellings under the skin (often in the hind quarters) that crackle when pressed.  Infection typically leads to death within 12 – 48 ours,  i.e. dead animals are the first indication of an infected herd.  Burying dead animals and burning infected pastures helps prevent the bacteria (Clostridium chauvoei) from spreading, however, it will remain in the soil for years.
mandioca [=]
Grown in the tropics, its roots are edible once cooked - boiled in water - otherwise it is poisnous; Lat: Manihot esculenta; aka: cassava, manioc, yuca.
maneador [mañador]
see mañador
maneared [maneado]
hobbled, from manea
maneo [manea]
a hobble — a strap that holds a horses front legs together such that it can not walk fast preventing it from straying far. See also mañador, which may be used as a manea.
mañero [=]
stubborn, contrary animal or person
manga [=]
(i) swarm, (of locusts – see locust); e.g. manga of langosta
(ii) raceway / shute – see bretes.
skin disease: skin thickens, scabs, and hair falls out
mangrullo, mangruyo [=]
watch tower, for indian raiding parties. (See photo of “Los Palmares” in AABz’s album)
manoseared [manosear]
to rub-down, stroke, & pat a horse; one of the first steps of tamming
mansa, manso [=]
mantencion [manutención]
provisions, food & supplies — apart from pay, peones in the camp were also provided “casa y comida”, housing & food (provisions).
mantenida /o [=]
vain, self-important (Alfred 8 Mar'85)
manyero [mañero]
see mañero
maquinista [=]
machinist, mechanic
mar [=]
sea, or a large lake on the pampas
marca [=]
livestock brand, registered to by province.  Branding typically took place at a yerra.
See the People & Places reference pages for drawings of the various brands used by the Benitz family.
marca liquida [=]
Livestock with a single brand indicating they have had only one owner since birth.
marcada/o [=]
marcacion [marcación]
branding event - see yerra.
marcachiefla [mercachifle]
a travelling salesman: a peddler or huckster - often of cheap goods
marco [=]
(i) door frame
(ii) per context: (1895 June) for a corral gate (tranquera)
march, marched [marchar]
to move, to travel, to drive a herd, be on the move (marching), e.g. JEBz: “the saltonas are marching” = the locust hoppers are on the move.
marcho [macho]
male - see macho
marchos [H] [-?-]
No idea. 17 Oct’90: cart-horses?
gate posts - for tranqueras
mark, marked, marking, marks
(i) brand or branding iron, per context- see marca
(ii) to brand, see marcación - See also: counter mark -&- marca liquida.
marcación [=]
branding event, see yerra..
mars [H]
martineta, martinetes [martineta]
Most likely the Martineta Común (Eudronia elegans-8r), a crested ground bird of the pampas much prized by hunters, similar to grouse or partridge. Its correct English name is “Elegant Tinamou”. Larger than perdiz. Few if any found today at La CaliforniaSee Hudson’s Birds
masoar [-?-]
likely manosear (included from AABz Chronicles list of Spanish terms)
mataco [=]
See also the Mataco indians in the People & Place Names pages
A small armadillo, the Mataco bola (Tolypeutes matacus) name comes from its ability to roll into a ball when threatened. Ranges from eastern Bolivia and south-western Brazil across north-eastern Argentina down to San Luis province. Lives in abandoned burrows & dense vegetation; color: typically yellow to brownish; length: about 25 cm.; weight: 1.0-1.6 kg. Using its long sticky tongue, it feeds on insects, typically ants & termites.  a.k.a.: In Spanish: tatú bola, Corechi, Quirquincho Bola; In English: Southern or La Plata or Brazilian three-banded Armadillo. Near threatened due to habitat loss & exploited for food. See mulita, peludo, & tatú carreta.
“mas/menos”, “mas o menos”, masmenos [mas o menos]
more or less
“massas de cuenta” [masas de cuenta] [-?-]
“100 masas de cuenta' likely means bundles of 100 plants (Alfred 13 Oct.'85)
mate, yerba mate [=]
A herbal tea first drunk by the Guaraní indian people, today it is widely drunk in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, as well as eastern Bolivia, south & central Brazil, & southern Chile. It is made from the dried leaves of a species of the holly genus [Ilex paraguariensis], a tree that grows in or near the tropical forests of Argentina, Paraguay, & Brazil.  It is typically drunk by means of a metal straw inserted into a gourd ¾ filled with minced leaves to which near boiling water is added.
matrero [matrero]
a person (or animal) who hides out in remote areas, e.g. someone who hides from the police
matricula de tropero
herding licence or certificate, apparently (beginning in 1899) it was required that the capataz de tropa (herd foreman) be certified.
maved [-?-]
no idea (Alfred's day-book: 10 January 1892)
mayordomo [mayordomo]
A hired manager, and in the absence of the owner, he's the boss at the top of the management hierarchy of an estancia. Equiv. to XO on a Navy ship. See administrator.
mazorca [=]
ear of maize / corn
mecha [mecha]
wick (lamp wick)
“media res” [media res]
side of beef - see res
medico [medico]
doctor, medic !
medio [=]
half, middle
mejorando [=]
mellada/o [mellada/o]
toothless, or almost so
melon /es [melón]
menos [=]
mensual, mensuales [=]
workman, workmen paid by the month. See also jornalero.
mercurio [mercurio]
mestisa, mestizo [mestizo / mestiza]
mixed breed or cross-bred animal
mezcla [=]
mocha /o [=]
horn-less, polled cattle
mogotal [=]
area/field full of mogotes – knobs, little hills; see tacurusal
mogote [=]
knob, hillock, such as an ant nest, see tacurú
mojon, mohones, mohons [mojón / mojones]
survey landmark placed by surveyors at the corners & borders of a property; typically a post or length of rail (rail-road) set deep & immovable.
molde [=]
molle [=]
a tree, see aguariguay
“moneda nacional” [=]
see peso moneda nacional See also nats and nacionales.
montada [=]
per context: (i) a mare that has been ridden; or: (ii) a lady mounted on a horse
montanando, montonared [amontonando / amontonar]
to create piles, to stack hay
montarases, montoraces [montaraces]
plural of montaraz
(i) adjective applied to forrest animals, derived from: monte (woods, jungle);
(ii) colloquially: a wild or untamed animal or person (e.g. an indian).
monte [=]
(i) The original Argentine pampas was grassland bare of trees except for the occasional isolated ombú, or group of espinillo (see algarrobo) trees along an arroyo. Anything such as a woods stood out upon the flat horizon much like a distant hill, or in Spanish: monte. Hence, on the pampas woods became known as montes.
(ii) On the pampas, estancias planted their own montes with trees that were resistant to locusts, in particular: eucalyptus & paraiso trees.
(iii) The natural, often dense, woodlands of the Chaco region in north Argentina are also referred to as montes, in particular the denser thickets. To desmontar is to cut down / remove trees, i.e. clear the natural forest - see quebracho.
monte bajo
a woods of low trees
montecito [=]
small monte
montonar, montonared [amontonar]
To make piles (of straw or alfalfa)
montura [=]
moquillo [=]
Strangles or equine distemper — is a contagious upper respiratory tract bacterial infection (Streptococcus equi), today treated with antibiotics.  Symptons: coughing, difficulty swallowing, yellow mucous from nose & eyes.
mora, morro [mora/o]
iron-grey.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
mortero [=]
mortar, for pounding / crushing
mosca brava [=]
biting fly that bothers livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs) about the head and lips, typically does not bother people.  (The horn fly common in the US, did not appear in Argentina until the late 20th cent.)  The larger horse-fly is known as a tabano, it does bite people.
mosquillo [moquillo]
see moquillo
mosquitero [=]
mosquito netting
mucama [=]
house-maid, maid
mucha/o [=]
plenty, a lot of
muchacha / muchacho [=]
a youth / teenager; a young woman or man.  muchachada: the youth as a group, collectively.
muesca [=]
notch, ear notch (see also: punta de lanza)
(i) muesca de atras en la oreja izquierda (derecha) - rear notch in the left (right) ear
(ii) muezca adelante en cada oreja - forward notch in each ear
(iii) horqueta - notch to the tip of the ear
mula, mulita [mula, mulita]
mule / little mule.
mulita [=]
the common name for armadillos except the mataco, peludo, & tatú carreta.  There are at least 5 armadillos found in Argentina:
(i) Peludo, the hairy armadillo, likely the most common; see peludo;
(ii) Mataco, the small 3-banded armadillo; see mataco;
(iii) Mulita Común (Dasypus septemcinctus) light brown, long eared, 7-banded 27-30cm body, 25cm tall, 15cm tail, 1.5kg., found in the chaco region north of Santa Fé, Paraguay, & eastern Brazil south of the Amazon - not threatened (NT). a.k.a. “mulita chica”, “armadillo de siete bandas”; in English: “seven banded armadillo”.
(iv) Mulita Grande (Dasypus novemcinctus) brown, long eared 9-banded, body 38-58cm long, 38-48cm tail, 5.5kg., ranges from Texas (US) to NE Argentina south through Entre Rios - widespread. a.k.a. “armadillo de nueve bandas”; in Guaraní: tatú-eté; in English (Texas, US):  “nine banded armadillo”.
(v) Mulita Orejuda (Dasypus hybricus) very dark brown with shorter ears, narrow head, 6-7 banded 30 cm body, 17 cm tail, up to 2 kg. Found in the eastern provinces (pampas & chaco regions), Uruguay, & south Brazil - not threatened (NT).  a.k.a. “mulita chica”, “mulita pampeana”; in Guaraní: “tatú mbiricá”; in English: “southern long-nosed armadillo”.
(vi) Tatú Carreta - very large; see Tatú Carreta.
multa, multared [multa, multado]
(i) fine, as in pay a fine;
(ii) fined
“muy crecida” [=]
for a river: very high, very swollen; see crecida

  - N, Ñ -

nac., nacionales [nacionales]
name/abbreviation for nacionales, see peso argentino (pre-1933) and/or  peso moneda nacional (1933-1970).
nada [=]
ñandu [ñandú]
the correct name for the rhea of the pampas (Rhea americana).  Its juvenile young are called: charabón.  See rhea for more details.
ñandubai, ñandubay, nandubuy [ñandubay]
a legumenous spiny tree (Prosopis afffinis) with yellow flowers, it reaches 13m., native to Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay, & Uruguay.  Threatened in Argentina due to loss of habitat.  Its hard-dense wood makes excellent fence posts - not as brittle as quebracho.  See algarrobo & espinillo. a.k.a. algarrobillo, espinillo, ibopé-morotí.
nandubaysal [ñandubaisal]
a woods of ñandubay
Disparaging term used by British settlers and their Argentine born descendants for Argentines of Spanish ancestry, including the most wealthy and the leading members of society.  It does not mean the native indians.  Today the term is considered rude and unattractive.
nats, nates [nacionales]
name/abbreviation for nacionales, see peso argentino (pre-1933) and/or  peso moneda nacional (1933-1970).  See also “Cordoba nates”.
negocio [=]
small blacks (steers per context)
negra, negro [=]
niñera [=]
“nose (horns) bands” [-?-]
likely some form of a a ring or tag attached to the noses of calves preventing them from suckling, effectively weaning them and allowing the cow to gain condition.
nochero [=]
night horse — kept in at night, available in the morning to bring in the day’s riding stock.
noria [=]
(i) a large diameter water-wheel on a river bank; the river current turns the wheel.
(ii) a pump on a well that draws water by raising a series of buckets attached to a chain loop; powered by a horse or donkey walking in a circle around the pump.
noriero [=]
noria operator
noticia / noticio [noticia]
news or word about someone or something
novedad [=]
novia [=]
girl-friend, bride
novillado/a [=]
(i) herd of steers
(ii) calf crop
nov, novillo, novillio [novillo]
steer (male calf castrated at weaning before it takes on the features of a bull).
See vacunos for more cattle terms.
novillietos, novillitos [novillitos]
young steers - see novillos.
nutria [=]
a herbivorous semi-aquatic rodent (Myocastor Coypus), similar in appearance to the beaver but with a narrow tail.  Native to the rivers of temperate South America, it is prized for its fur. a.k.a. in Spanish: coipo (in countries where nutria is the sea otter), in Guaraní: kyja; in English: coypu.
nutriar, nutriando [=]
to hunt nutria; hunting nutria
nutrieros /as [=]
(i) nuntria hunters;
(ii) area where nutria found, i.e. a nutria colony
nyato [ñato]
flat-nosed or pug-nosed

  - O -

obraje [=]
project, construction project
olla [=]
cooking pot, stew-pot.
ombu [ombú]
large broad-leaf tree (Phytolacca dioica) native to the pampas, with an umbrella-like spread it makes deep cool shade, very welcome on a hot summer day. Its wood is soft and spongy; it shreds when it dries, making it useless as firewood. NOTE: Web sites (e.g. Wikipedia) describe it as an evergreen, yet every ombú I climbed as a child dropped its leaves in winter, making it deciduous!
“on rodeo”, “on rodayo” [H]
see rodeo
orcon, orcons [H]
see horcón
order [orden]
in relation to money, would be an “orden de pago”, a money order.
orechano [=]
"whole/entire ear" - cattle that have not been ear-marked (notched), i.e. young stock.  Ear-marking is typically done at weaning.  See also orejano
orechano señalado
Not ear-marked but marked (identified) in another fashion, e.g. a button on the left leg
“orecho volteado” [-?-]
“saino orecho volteado” (Alfred, 27 Aug.'84): zaino = dark-chesnut, orecho = could be orechano (whole ear), volteado = knocked-over.
oreja [=]
oreja entera
entire-ear, i.e. un-marked - see orechano
orejano [=]
(i) big eared, e.g. a mule.
(ii) incorrect spelling of: orechano - cattle with entire-ears, i.e. un-marked
orjon, orjones [horcón / horcones]
see horcón
orkito, orketos [horquito]
per context, a small horqueta - post with a forked top (see horcón), used in fencing.
orkones, orkonos, orkonas [horcones / horcón]
see horcón
orkon, orkonones [horcones]
see horcón
ornero [hornero]
see hornero (oven bird)
osage orange
a small deciduous tree or large shrub (Maclura pomifera), typically growing to 8–15 metres (26–49 ft) tall.  Its fruit is about the size of an orange, yellow/green, bumpy, it is inedible.
osamenta [=]
the bones of a dead animal, however, in the day-books most likely means the carcass of a dead animal(s).
oscura/o [=]
(i) dark, e.g. like dark of night;
(ii) horse coloring: black.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
oscurita [=]
a small oscura mare
osko, oskito [hosco]
dark colored, hosquito is its diminutive, (e.g. a small dark bull). See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
oso [oso hormiguero]
the South American giant ant-eater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), see: ant bear.
oso chico [=]
a young ant-eater, oso hormiguero.
ostrich [avestruz]
the Spanglish misnomer for rhea - see rhea for details. There are no ostriches in Argentina.
outside, out side [afueras]
in relation to Los Palmares in the late 1800's, it meant the area further west, far from the rio & laguna Calchaquí (a.k.a. las Aves), north of the Salado river and the town of San Cristobal.  Full of esteros, it was likely still very wild.
ovalero [-?-]
No idea what. Per AABz Chronicles: Species of South American bird. !!
oveja [=]
sheep, ewes
see overo
overo [=] – horses
Horse color pattern, compare to tobiano.  See caballo for more horse terms, & Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
Overo vs Tobiano – Overo is white spots or patches on color, overo colorado or overo manchado is white spotss/patches on predominantly bay [English: apaloosa?] whereas tobiano colorado is a striking mix of large white & bay patches that cross the spine, [Englsih: skewbald, paint, or pinto].
There are many qualifying terms related to the size, color, and placement of the patches/spots: overo rosado is a paler pink version; overo porcelana has spots/patches on light tan; overo poroteado has bean-size spots; overo sabino has tan spots or patches;  overo salpicado has a splattered pattern;  overo fajado has a belted pattern, etc.
overo, overo negro [=] – cattle
Overo Negro is the Argentine term for the Holstein / Friesen breed (of milking cows), often shortened to  “overo”.  In Spanglish, they are sometimes called “black & white”.


p. venta
see para venta
paba [pava]
pacha [paja]
see paja
padre [=]
father / sire. See toro (bull).
padrillo [=]
stallion (horse) [or boar (pig)]. See caballo for more details.
paga [H] [pagaré]
pagare [pagaré]
IOU, note
paisano [=]
(i) peasant;
(ii) Italian person, often a farmer or settler
paja, paija [paja]
straw.  Los Palmares: straw from tall grass found along river banks, used to thatch roofs and make chorizos for walls (also see cumbrera).
pajero [=]
straw cutter, person who cuts paja.
pajonales [=]
Thick stand of tall grass such as Pampas grass, usually found in lowlands, near water.
pajosa [=]
in reference to the condition of the (native) pastures: full of straw, i.e. dry grass
palenque [=]
palenkeared, palenquiared [palenquear]
to accustom an untamed (young) horse or ox to being tied up (typically to a strong post) and then handled; the first step in taming a young horse. (palenque is a hitching-rail)
palinkiaring [palenqueando]
see palenkeared
palmar [=]
wood/stand/forest of palm trees
“Palmares bajo” [=]
stands of short / stunted palm trees (aka in Florida: palmetto?)
palmas [=]
palm trees
palo [=]
post or pole - per context
“palo a pie” [=]
“palo a pico” [=]
fence made of a solid row of posts, most often tied together – a palisade.  Often used as fences in corrales, particularly the embudo, where strength is needed.  See bretes.
palo borracho [=]
The drunken post is a deciduous tree, its common name in Spanish describes the distinctive shape of its trunc, similar to a bulging bottle.  Other names: Spanglish: bottle tree, English: silk-floss tree.  Drought resistant, its green trunk is studded with conical spines; belongs to the same family as the baobab & kapok trees.  In Arg., the two most common species are:
(i) Ceiba speciosa - (pink flowers) found in NE Argentina, Uruguay, east Bolivia, Paraguay, & southern Brazil; grows to 25 mts., trunk at its widest has a 2 mt. circumference.
(ii) Ceiba chodatii - (white flowers) found in the drier forests of Bolivia, Paraguayan Chaco, & NW Argentina; grows to 15 mts. with short stubby branches.
— Do not confuse with the ceibo tree, see its entry.
“palo negro” [-?-]
no idea (Alfred 14 Dec'91)
palometa [=]
a river fish, similar to priraña, but not so dangerous.
pampa [=]
(i) a pampa is an open mostly flat grassland,
(ii) the Pampas (or pampas) are the Argentine prairie, originally a treeless grassland, described as a “dessert” by first arrivals (surface water was scarce).  European immigrants of the late 1800's dug wells and transformed this humid dessert with its deep rich loess soils into the agricultural / economic engine of Argentina.  Geographically it includes the following provinces: all of BA, east edge of La Pampa, south-east quarter of Córdoba, south half of Santa Fé, and southern Entre Rios (Note: most of E.R. has alluvial soils & consequently it is included with Corrientes & Misiones in the mesopotamic region between the Uruguay & Paraná rivers).
(iii) cattle: a white faced animal, e.g. the Hereford breed.
pampero [=]
litteraly “of the pampas”, it is the name given to the cold winter wind that blows from the south / south-west
pangare [pangaré]
faded or pale chest, belly, and muzzle.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
e.g. (i) zaino pangaré is a chestnut with paler areas,
e.g. (ii) zaino hosico pangaré is a chestnut with a pale muzzle.
pantano [=]
(i) bog or marsh
(ii) mud-hole on a dirt road
pantanosa [=]
panzon [panzón]
big-belly, pot-belly (panza = belly)
(A:1876 Nov.2, per context: a big-bellied horse)
pap [-?-]
probably from "pasar", to ford/cross - (Alfred 2 Oct'89: intend to pap the Calchaqui )
papel fumar [papel de fumar]
cigarrette paper
papeleta [=]
card, identity card
paquete [=]
package or box
para [=]
for, to be...
para consumo - for butchering
para venta - to be sold
parada [=]
event of gathering stock, see parar
paral [parar+corral]
per context (23 Aug.'96), a corral in which to parar (hold) a rodeo (herd)
parar, parado, parando, parared, parraring [parar rodeo]
to gather / hold a herd (rodeo) for inspection or a yerrra (branding, etc.)
paraiso (trees) [=]
Chinaberry tree (melia azedarach L.), a deciduous small leafed tree with blue-purple flowers. Paraiso (from Africa) and eucalyptus (from Australia) were popular trees to plant in the treeless pampas because they are fast growing and locusts would not eat them - not surprising given paraiso berries have insecticidal properties.  See also Eucaliptus.
pardo [=]
brown.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
paricion, parision [parición]
(i) re cattle: calving, calving rate, or calf crop
(ii) a birth
pariente [=]
family relative
see parar
parrida [parida]
a cow that has given birth; per AABz context: very parrida likely means very calved, i.e. a high calving rate
parted / to part [apartar]
to cut-out, select, or otherwise classify livestock - see apartar, apartes, apartador.
see perdíz & martineta
parva [=]
pase [=]
permit, pass – (Alfred 20 Nov 1897), likely required by local police
paseo, pasear [=]
joy ride, sight-seeing trip, take a joy-ride
pasmado [=]
stunned - exhausted
paso [=]
river crossing, ford
pass [paso / pasar]
(ii) river crossing, ford
(ii) to cross / ford a river
pastel, pasteles [pastel, pasteles]
pastry, pastries
pastilles [pastillas]
pastage [=]
rented pasture
pasto [=]
(i) grass / pasture;
(ii) rent for pasture (see pastage)
“pasto fuerte” [=]
see pasto puna.
“pasto puna” [=]
harsh native bunch grass (Stipa brachychaeta) of the pampas, likely covered all of La California and Los Algarrobos before it was burnt to allow ploughing. Today it is considered a weed and will invade sown pastures if not controlled.
pastorearing, pastoreared, pastoriando [pastorear, pastoreo]
(i) pasturing, to pasture (cattle).
(ii) at La California, when grass was in short supply, during the dry winter months (June-September), rye and wheat fields were sometimes sacrificed for winter feed to pasture cattle.
pastoreo [=]
on pasture, cattle/herd being pastured.
pasuko [pasuco]
a horse trotting gait (natural or trained) where the horse, alternating side to side, lifts both legs of one side at a time.  It is a smoother faster trot (e.g. used in trotter sulky-races).  In the more normal trot, a horse lifts its legs paired diagonally.
patacon [patacón]
slang for the peso argentino or peso duro  (See our page on Measures.)
patatas [batatas]
sweet potatoes, see batata
“Patente de Rodados” [=]
Vehicle License fees, including horse drawn
patio [=]
typically an enclosed area next to the house to keep the animals out (e.g. chickens, pigs, etc.), it can be as simple as a fenced-in area to a fully enclosed veranda with a roof and tile floor.
“pato real” [=]
a large black duck (Cairina moschata) with a large white patch on each wing; perches in trees, found near marshes and rivers; native to Central and South America down to northern Argentina.  Names: in English: “Muscovy Duck”.  See: Hudson’s Birds for more detail.
patrerito [potrerito]
small potrero
pats [patacón]
abbreviation for patacón
pava [=]
pavilla [=]
small kettle
Pavo del monte [Pavo del monte común]
Speckled black wild turkey (Penelope obscura) inhabiting the forests of northern Argentina, Paraguay, & southern Brazil.  Feeds on fruit & flowers.  Not endangered. a.k.a. in English: "Dusky-legged guan".
pecari, pig [pecarí]
the wild pig hunted at Los Palmares in the late 1800s was almost certainly a pecarí.
(see also: Jabalí)
There were 3 species of pecarí in north-eastern Argentina:
(i) ”pecarí labiado” (Tayassu pecari) similar to the “pecarí de collar” (see next), except it has a pale beard; up to 0.55m. at the shoulder & 1.0m. long, weighs 25-40kg. a.k.a. “pecarí barbiblanco”, “pecarí de quijada blanca”, & “chancho mojano”, in Guaraní: [-?-], in English: “white-lipped pecary” (AABz: corvata pig) Not endangered; range: northern Argentina to southern Mexico.
(ii) ”pecarí de collar” (Tayassu tajacu) with a lighter colored hair about the head; up to 0.5m. at the shoulder & 1.0m. long, weighs 15-30kg. a.k.a. “chancho rosillo”, in Guaraní: “tayasú”, in Englsih (US): “javelina” or “collared pecary” (AABz: varzino pig)  Not endangered; range: northern Argentina to southern Texas.
(iii) ”pecarí orejudo” (Catagonus wagneri), has longer thicker hair and is the largest (with males larger than females), reaching 1.10m long and weighing 30-50kg.  a.k.a. “pecarí chaqueño”, “pecarí del Chaco” & “chancho quimilero”; in Guaraní: “taguá”, in English: “Chacoan pecary”.  Endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.
pecaso [H]
see picaso
pechar, pechared [pechar]
when handling livestock, to push or shove cattle with a horse’s chest (pecho); the ability of a horse to pechar.
pechero [=]
In English: collar - the harness part that fits around the neck of a draft horse & rests against the front of its chest (pecho) to which the traces (tiros) are attached. Also: collera
pelacharing [pelachar / pelachando]
losing hair. Per contexct, cattle losing condition (Alfred: 17 Nov 1897)
pelado [=]
bare, hairless
pelared, pelaring [pelar]
(i) to strip bark from timber, to strip hair from a hide
(ii) pelado: shorn or stripped bare
pelota [pelota]
(i) small boat typically made of rawhide, used to cross small rivers / arroyos;
(ii) today: a ball, e.g. a foot-ball.
peludo [peludo]
(i) hairy;
(ii) a numerous armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus), quite hairy, it is flatter and wider than the mulita, it's body is 26-40cm long, tail 15cm, weighs 2-3kg.  Found throughout Argentina (except the NE) into Bolivia & Paraguay; numerous it is making a comeback with the advent of no-till farming. a.k.a. in Spanish: “quirquincho grande”; in Guaraní: “tatu”[?] ; in English: “big hairy armadillo”.  See mulita, mataco, & tatú carreta.
see piolar
peon /s [peón / peones]
generic term for all workmen on an estancia. See also jornalero and mensual. See Administrador for more about the management hierarchy of an estancia.
peón de campo [=]
the correct term for a gaucho (ranch-hand/cowboy).
peón de confianza [=]
a trusted peón / employee
A breed of draft-horses from western France, usually grey or black.
perdiz [perdíz]
Most likely the Inambú Común (Nothura maculosa), the most common ground bird hunted on the pampas. Its correct name in English is “Spotted Tinamou”, however, it is more commonly referred to as a “partridge”. Smaller than the MartinetaSee Hudson’s Birds
pertico / pertigo [pertico]
the tongue (draft pole) of a 2-wheeled cart (carreta).  A long beam of hard wood (typically urunday), it was fixed to the floor of the cart and extended out front 3 meters with a yoke (yugo) attached to its tip.  The pair (i.e. yoke or yunta) of oxen (bueyes) tied to that yoke were known as the pertigueros.  See: lance (lanza), carreta, coyunta, yunta, & yugo.
pertigueros [pertigueros]
the pair of oxen closest to the cart, see carreta & pertico.
pesadero [pisadero]
see pisadero
pesebre [=]
(i) channel, ditch, depression
(ii) feeding trough or manger (for livestock)
(iii) At Los Palmares, likely a small protected enclosure for feeding & attending to weaker livestock
pesebrero [=]
(i) stable or stableman
(ii) horse accustomed to feed at a trough/manger
“peso argentino” [peso argentino]
the original Argentine peso was known as the patacón or peso duro because it was made of silver and valued equal to the Spanish real.  Often recorded as nacionales, abbreviated to nats.  See currencies of Argentina on our Measures page.
“peso Boliviano” [peso boliviano]
Bolivian currencies ($B) were used widely in Argentina during the 1800's.  See currencies of Argentina on our Measures page.
“peso Chileno” [peso chileno]
the Chilean silver peso circulated within Argentina.  The one peso coin had a condor engraved on its front (obverse) side and was known as a: condor.  See currencies of Argentina on our Measures page.
“peso duro”, “peso fuerte”
see real and peso argentino in the sections for Spanish and Argentine currencies on our Measures page.
“peso moneda nacional” [peso moneda nacional]
The currency of Argentina between 1933-1970.  The term moneda nacional (denoted by the m/n) differentiated it from the earlier peso argentino.  Often abbreviated as $xx m/n or simply nacionales or nats.  See also “Cordoba nates”.  See currencies of Argentina on our Measures page.
peste [=]
(i) generic term for a harmful bug or illness affecting a crop or livestock
(ii) 19th century term for aftosa, foot & mouth disease, see aftosa above.
(iii) peste llaga/yaga (Llaga) sores/wounds (AABz 1900): blamed for cow abortions, thought the cause most likely was Brucelosis, spontaneous abortion (see above).
petiso /s, petizo [petiso]
(i) short, or “Shorty” if a nickname.
(ii) colloquial term for ponies, particularly polo-ponies (see also pingo). When polo was first played, there was a height restriction on horses (to slow the game to a gentlemanly pace) - hence the terms pony and petiso. The restriction (height at the withers, 14 hands = 56 inches or 1.42 m.) was removed c.1920. See caballo for more details about all horses.
pezcueso inchado [pescueso inchado]
swollen neck
picado [=]
(i) choped up, e.g. vegetables, minced meat.
(ii) pitted, e.g. pock-marked, eroded, roughened surface
picana [=]
cattle prod
picar, picando [picar]
(i) most likely to break up the ground with a spade or pick-axe, i.e. prepare it for planting;
(ii) generically: to break or cut into smaller pieces, e.g. to chop-up a garlic-clove, or to mince meat.
picaso, picasso, picasito [picaso, picasito]
black with white stockings & blaze.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
pie, pies [=]
foot/ feet
if hunted, see pecarí
if domestic, see chancheria
pigeno [-?-]
per context, likely a misspelling of “pigeon” (Alfred 4 June'85: pigeons eating alfalfa [seed] up ?)
piki [Guaraní: piky]
small, tiny.  (Alfred: 9 May'85: kill pikis and fleas - kill lice and fleas ?)
pila [=]
pilchas [=]
(i) usually: clothes, could include bedding, etc.
(ii) all components of the the recado (saddle)
pileta, bileta [pileta]
term implies a water-trough, wash-tub, or small tank. Tanque would be a larger reservoir. See also bebida.
“pine tea” [pinotea]
pine wood imported from the US in the early years, it is today grown commercially in Arg. A fast growing tree, its name is derived from the latin Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine), the largest of the native pine trees found in the SE USA. However, the term pinotea is also mistakenly applied to the Longleaf pine tree (Pinus palustris), also native to SE USA, much prized for its “heart” of very hard wood (pine-heart). It is a slow growing tree (100+ years) and today its wood is scarce and very expensive.
pingo [=]
fast, agile, good-looking horse (e.g. polo-ponies, see petiso and caballo for more.)
pinotea [=]
See pine tea.
piolo [piola]
twine, e.g. piolo blanco is white twine.
piolar, piolando
To rope a running steer by its forefeet.  A loop is thrown immediately in front of the running steer, timed so the steer will put both forefeet through the flying loop.  The loop is then tightened instantly.  The momentum of the steer over its trapped forefeet causes it to summersault, landing on its back.  (Requires skill, great fun, hard on the steer.)
pirincho [=]
The Guira cucckoo [Guira guira], common to the pampas, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, & southern Brazil.  About 30 cm long, with a tan belly, striped chest, darker striped back, & orange beak.  An untidy bird in appearance, flight, & its nests.  Gathers together to keep warm in winter.  Often mistakenly called: urraca.
pisadero [=]
Pisar is to: step upon. A pisadero is an enclosed shallow pit within which horses are driven to mix straw, their dung, and mud by their trampling.  The mix is allowed to rot for a few days before it is used to make chorizos, bricks, or to plaster walls.  See chorizo for more about house construction.
piso [=]
pisotear [=]
plantel [=]
A select herd of cows (or flock of ewes) that is put with the best bulls (or rams) to produce sires for the more ordinary cow herds (or flocks of ewes).  Good quality bulls and rams are expensive to purchase.
plano [=]
per context 1901-12-26: flats of a river bank
plaso [plazo]
grace period, terms, or installment payment
poblacion [población]
town or settlement, e.g. a colonia.  Alfred's 1884 Arpil 14th entry refers to a poblacion which is most likely Frank J. Bz's failed Espín colony.
poblador /es [poblador]
settler, see colono
poblar, poblared [poblar]
to populate or establish a settlement, e.g. a colonia.
podar [=]
to prune a tree
poder [=]
power of attorney, proxy
pocito [pozito]
small well, diminutive of pozo
podrid [podrido]
poen [H] [peón]
See peon.
point [punta]
(i) a point, of a knife or of a laguna;
(ii) a handfull or trace of ... (usually livestock: cattle or sheep) -OR- an enormous amount of ...;
(iii) the lead group in a herd of cattle.
policia [=]
polilla [=]
moths. apolillado: moth eaten
polvoro [polvora]
porteño [=]
a person from the port, i.e. Buenos Aires. The term is applied to anyone from Buenos Aires city and its suburbs.  Like their counterparts from New York and Paris, they are often arrogant towards their unfortunate countrymen.
portero [=]
(i) see potrillo
(ii) per context, foal herd, more correct: potrillada
portillo [=]
small gate
portmanteau [French!]
leather suit-case that opens in half.
poso, posso, pozo [pozo]
well, typically dug for water
poste [=]
post, usually a fence post.
herd of colts & fillies - potros & potrancas
potranca [=]
untamed filly / young mare - See caballo for more details.
potrancita [=]
little filly
potrancon /es [=]
older, larger filly - see potranca
potrero, pot [potrero]
potrera [H]
field or paddock. Also known as a: lote. La California: The first fenced fields of La California were each of 100 cuadras (almost 169 hectares). Most of the fields were known by number. The smaller fields were named, particularly those close to the casco. However we don’t know their location. In 1890 the potreros were: estancia, horse, pig, Peters, puesto, south, stack. Los Algarrobos: See maps of the estancia;  Los Palmares: fields were known by name, see Aldfred's diaries.  See rodeo.
potrerito [=]
small potrero
potrilla /o [=]
foal, filly or colt. See caballo for more details.
potro [=]
untamed colt - young male horse 2-3 years old.
potrita, potrisita [=]
a filly, very young mare; even younger filly
“potro fat” [grasa de potro]
rendered down horse fat; liquid at room temperature, it was used to oil leather, etc.
pozero [=]
well digger, someone who drills wells
pozo [=]
water-hole, well
precisieras [-?-]
no idea (Alfred 31 May, 1877)
“primer obraje” [=]
per context (AABz diary, hunt 1902), first harvest of timber, logging (likely of quebracho trees)
pro tem [-?-]
SE room of house (AABz: 9 Feb.1900)
prolongation [prolongación]
La California: per context, extension (of a rail-road) or spur.
provisiones [proviciones]
provisions, food stock.
pua [=]
barb – as in barbed-wire
vs: liso – plain wire, not barbed
see alambrado
puchero [=]
a traditional meal: meat and vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, zapallito (squash)) boiled until soft and tender.  The soup is delicious, so is the marrow from the bones, the meat and vegetables are typically overcooked and tasteless.
puente [=]
bridge - herds often had to pay a toll
puerta [=]
door, gate
puerto [=]
puestero [=]
on an estancia, someone who lives in a puesto, usually with his family. Typically a trusted or valued peón (e.g. the horse tamer) he could keep a limited number of his own livestock. On larger estancias, a puestero was akin to a section manager on a ranch. He was responsible for the care of all livestock in his section and was expected to revise the livestock on a daily basis. In the estancia management hierarchy, he was almost level with a capataz. See administrador for more on the management hierarchy of an estancia.
puestito [=]
diminutive of puesto
puesto [=]
line or section house, a house located in a field or section of an estancia. Literally: a place or a posting. See puestero.  At Los Palmares they had numbers (e.g. puesto No3) or names - see list of place names.
“puestos en …” [=]
term used in a purchase or sale agreement to denote where the goods are to be shipped or received: “placed in/on …” a given location: loading-dock, estancia, etc.
pulgada [=]
inch (2.54 cm.)
“pull water”
see baldero and jagüel.
pulperia, pulperae [H] [pulperia]
pub, bar – sometimes also a store - often known by their owner's name. La California: in the 1890's, likely refers to the pulperia(s) run by Andel and/or Peter.  Los Palmares: 1880's - Benjamín.
pulpero [=]
publican, see pulperia
puma [=]
The second largest wild cat (Puma concolor) of the Americas, its name comes from the Quichua word: pomo.  Typically tan coloured, but it can be grey to reddish - body weight: male 53-72 kg, female: 34-48 kg, body length: 1-2 meters (avg. 1.25), tail: 65 cm., height at the shoulder: 65 cm.  Solitary and territorial, it is active in the evenings and early mornings; it is a fast runner (up to 50 kph), agile it can climb trees and jump.  It hunts deer and guanaco as well as smaller animals of opportunity such as monkeys and armadilos. It is not classified as a large cat because it doesn't roar, instead it makes sounds more like a domestic cat.  It originally ranged from the Yukon (Canada) to the southern tip of mainland Argentina, inhabiting mountains, jungles, and plains.  Currently listed as endangered, displaced by urbanization and illegal hunting.  In Argentina it is no longer found in the heavily farmed central plains (i.e. the pampas).  a.k.a. in Spanish: león, “león americano”, in Guaraní: jaguá-pytá, in English: cougar, “mountain lion”. See cats.
“punta de lanza” [=]
lance point - describes a sharp narrow ear notch - see muesca: ear notch
“punta de rieles” [=]
rail-head, end of the line.  In NE Argentina, private lumber & tanin companies put in their own narrow gauge rail-road lines to bring out of the hard-wood logs harvested from forests.
“punta laguna” [punta de la laguna]
head or top end of a laguna (lagoon)
puntanos [-?-]
(July 9, 1899) town people?
purgar [=]
to purge or be purged

  - Q -

q qq
abbreviation for quintal
see cuarta
quebrachal, quebrachales [=]
a stand / forest (or forests) of quebracho trees
quebracho [=]
a tree, name translates as: “axe-breaker”. There are two main varieties, the blanco (white) and colorado (red), both found in the Gran Chaco areas of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
(i)The quebracho blanco (Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco) is a yellow-ochre wood, hard and heavy, it will bend and is useful for making carts & wheels, also makes excellent charcoal, & has some medicinal properties: as an aphrodisiac it is used to treat EDS.
(ii)The quebracho colorado (Schinopsis quebracho-colorado) is a very hard deep-red wood, so dense it will sink in water; it is highly valued for fence posts, rail-road ties, and as a source of tanin.  A good quebracho colorado fence post will last 50-70 years, outlasting the fence wire - see alambrado.  For over fifty years, c.1880-1940, the colorado was heavily “harvested” for its tanin leading to extensive defosteration.  It takes centuries to grow, consequenlty there are few large specimens left standing today. (See “La Forestal” on our page: People & Place Names of North Santa Fé.)
quemado [=]
quemazon [quemazón]
big fire, large burnt area
querencia [=]
the home place to which a horse (or other animal) will return when released or strayed.
Quichua [=]
Language of the Inca people, a pre-Columbian civilization that thrived in north-western Argentina, Bolivia, Perú, and Ecuador.
“quien sabe” [=]
who knows
quillape, quillapí [quillapi]
Leather coat worn by the indians of the pampas (Manta de cuero de los indios pampa). Alfred 27 Nov.1884:  “Indian woman entregared quillapí of 16 nutria skins.”. Likely the combined Guaraní words “kyja-py”, where: “kyja” is “nutria”, and “py” is “wide”.
quinta [=]
vegetable garden
quintal, quintales [=]
(i) crop yields: a common measure of weight, abbreviated “q” or “qq”.  Prior to metrification in the 1880's it was 46 kg., after metrification it came to mean 100 kg. However, the old measure continued to be used even into the 1950s (See our page on Measures.)  AABz & JEBz diaries: They likely meant 46 kg., particularly if discussion included cuadras, a pre-metrification measure of land area.
(ii) non-crop applications: likely equates to 46 kg. or 50 kg.
quintero [=]
gardener. Los Palmares: cultivator (farmer) of corn/maiz.

  - R -RERH

r. [real]
abbreviation for real, see real
rabia [=]
rabon [-?-]
See AABz diary: 22 May, 1900.
rabicano [=]
dark chestnut horse with some white hairs in its tail & mane, and spotted flanks grading to fully white belly.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
racion [ración]
radao [H] [rodeo]
see rodeo.
rajared [rajado]
cracked, fractured
ralo [=]
sparse, e.g. monte ralo - sparse woods
rama [=]
branch or branches (of a tree, of a river)
ramada [=]
open shed roofed with branches, often used to provide shade for livestock
ranchada [=]
a group of ranchos
rancho, ranchito [=]
Hut, small hut, typically built of mud & straw.  See chorizo for a description of how it is built.  Elements in its construction include: caballete, caña, chorizo, costanera, cumbrera, horcón, paja, pisadero, tijeras
rapido [=]
(i) Express (train)
rastra [=]
(i) a tirador (man's wide belt) heavily decorated with silver coins and buttons, see tirador
(ii) a harrow (used in cultivation)
rastrear, rastreando [=]
(i) to harrow - see rastra
(ii) to track, to follow
rastrillado [=]
trail, tracks
rastrillo [=]
rastrojo [=]
stubble, corn-stubble
real [=]
the peso real (Spanish silver coin), a.k.a.peso duro; peso fuerte.  See “peso duro”.
rebalsar, rebalsando, rebalsared [rebalsar]
overflow, overflowing, overflowed
rebenque, revenque [rebenque]
the standard whip of the pampas, a wide (3-7cm) leather striking strap (30-40cm long) attached to a leather covered handle (30-40cm long), often decorated with silver and fine leather-work.  Smacks loudly, causes little harm.
rebocared, rebocaring [revocar]
see revocar
recado [=]
the saddle of Argentina. Unlike most saddles, it consists of several pieces that are assembled on the horse.  The first layer is one or more caronillas (saddle-blankets, aka: mandil, matra, peleras); next come the bastos (two tubes of leather stuffed with rushes, 10cm diameter, 40-50cm long) loosely attached to each other so that when placed on the horse's back they lie parallel to horse's spine 25-35cm apart.  Across the bastos is placed the encimera, a strong piece of leather 20-30cm wide and about twice as long with a ring at each end (with an extra ring on the off-side for attaching a laso).  Alternatively, the bastos and the encimera are one piece known as the corona.  The primary cinch (cinchon, cincha) attaches to the rings of the encimera or corona and is 10-15cm wide at the girth.   Over the bastos are placed one or two unshorn wooly sheep skins (cojinillo or pellón) and lastly a soft leather cover (sobrepuesto, the tanned skin of a carpincho is favored), all held in place by the sobrecincha, a second lighter cinch.  The stirrups hang from the bastos and are typically of dark leather and adorned with cut-out designs.  The seat of the recado is relatively flat.  The rider retains his seat by pressing up from the stirrups jaming his knees up under and against the bastos.
recaudar [=]
to collect or recover
received [recibió]
Receptor de Rentas [=]
Tax Collector
Receptoria [=]
Office of the Treasurer
see resero
reces [reses]
see res
rechazared [rechazó
rechazo [=]
recien [=]
recently 99
recoenados [-?-]
re-encontrados - refound ?
recoger [=]
recoger, recogiendo, recojered, recojering [recoger]
to fetch, to gather
recojida, recogida [recogida]
(i) a round-up, a gather
(ii) recogida de yeguada - roundup of the mares / mare herd
recolectar [=]
gather, round-up
recolector, recultero, reculutero [recolector]
(i) someone who gathers / rounds-up livestock
(ii) at a round-up, someone parts out/collects livestock for a brand
recorered, recorering, recorrida [recorrer]
to ride through the fields inspecting the condition of the livestock, pastures, crops, fences, water level in the tanks, etc. An estancia manager or his delegates will recorrer their camp daily, checking for problems that may need attention. See also revise.
recorriendo, recorering [recorriendo]
reviewing / inspecting (see recorrer); a policeman would be patrolling.
recuento [=]
(i) Recounting livestock (taking inventory), done regularly for control purposes.
(ii) The counts (numbers of livestock) obtained from a recounting.
reculutar, reculutando / reculutaring, reculutas
see recolectar
reculuta [=]
round-up - colloquial for recogida the more correct term
e.g. “reculuta cattle” = cattle rounded-up.
reculutero, recultero [recolector]
see recolector
redomon /es, redemones, redimon [redomón]
(i) horse or ox that is in the process of being tamed;
(ii) a raw-hide that has not been fully worked – see sobar.
redomonared [redomonar]
tamed redomones
reduce [reducir]
move indians onto reservations (reducciones).
“reducing indians” [reducir, reducción/es]
placing indians in settlements (reducciones)
reduction, reduccion [reducción/es]
indian settlements, originally set up by the Spanish crown with the purpose of assimilating them into Spanish society.  Many (of the better ones) were set up by the Franciscans and Jesuits.  The practice continued after independence and were run by local government bodies with varying results.
redunging [see chorizo]
Spanglish term for replastering derived from bosta - dung.  The last finer layer of plaster applied to the walls of houses (ranchos) made of chorizo (mud & straw) is made up of mud & horse dung, hence the term.  See chorizo for more details.
reforzar, reforzando [reforzar]
to stregthen.
refuga/o [=]
livestock animal hiding / taking refuge in a herd it does not belong to
reglar, reglared, reglaring [arreglar]
(i) to fix or repair;
(ii) to settle (accounts). See arreglar and regulate.
regulate, regulated, regulating, regularing [arreglar]
(i) settle (accounts). See arreglar and reglar.
(ii) check, fix, set right
rejuntared [rejuntar, rejuntado]
to gather / collect, as in “gather cattle”; same as: put on rodeo, see rodeo
reindas, reindes
see riendas
rematador [=]
auctioneer, i.e. livestock auctioneer. See remate.
remate, “remate feria” [=]
auction, i.e. livestock auction. Typically livestock is sold in small lots, each lot is herded into a corral next to a stand where the cattle-buyers sit, signaling their bids to the rematador standing between them and the corral.  [2010: televised auctions have replaced large remates; small or private remates are still done.]
remendared [remendió]
repaired (verb: remendar: to repair)
remedio [=]
medicine or cure
rengo [=]
lame.  In terms of a quadruped, lame on a back-foot; manco is lame on a fore-foot.
reparar [parar]
see parar
reparted, repartired [from: repartir]
distributed (from: to distribute)
repositard [H] [reposicionar, reponer]
reposition, as in return cattle to their proper place
represa [=]
(i) See tanque - water reservoir or tank. Term favored by JEBz.
(ii) See tajamar - small dam or hollow.
repuesto [=]
spare part
repuntar, repuntared, repuntaring [repuntar, repuntado]
to turn around (redirect) cattle; to head livestock in a certain direction
res, reses [=]
(i) beef animal, as in beeves;
(ii) if already butchered, a media res is a side of beef.
resabiared [resabiar]
to be obstinate, reluctant, hard to control
resero, rezero [resero]
cattle buyer, usually for slaughter.
reservada/o [=]
reserved, in reserve
reses [=]
plural of res
resguardo [=]
guarantee, voucher
retajo [=]
(i) a stallion (or any male) that has been purposely made sterile but not castrated (i.e. has had a vasectomy).  Useful as he behaves like a stallion, preventing his mares from straying; he he can mate but not procreate.
(ii) slang/insult: a useless male.
retobado [retobado]
(i) a buck deer chased from the herd by other males
(ii) angry/out of sorts/bad tempered
revenque [rebenque]
see rebenque
see revisar
revisar, revisared, revisaring, revises [revisar]
to inspect, to review
(i) to revise a camp is to inspect its condition and that of the livestock, a standard daily occurance. The more correct term is to recorrer.
(ii) to inspect the condition & quality of a herd prior to its possible purchase
(iii) at a neighbor's rodeo (roundup), to check for cattle of own brand
reviser [revisador?]
Alfred A. Bz term for a cattle-buyer: he revises (inspects) livestock, e.g. for a packing company, e.g. Swift's Co.
(i) abbreviation for revocar
(ii) abbreviation for revoque: layer of plaster (on a wall)
revocar, revocando, revokaring [revocar]
to plaster, or plastering; last step in hut construction (see: chorizo, cumbrera, & redunging).
“rezar la novena” [=]
To repeat a prayer or prayers (for a specific petition or intent) for 9 hours or 9 days.
see resero
see reses
rhea [English term]
the large fast-running flightless birds of South America (similar to Emu, Cassowary, Ostrich).  There are two types in Argentina, neither is endangered: Ñandú and Choique - in English, the Greater Rhea and Lesser Rhea.  Both types are often incorrectly refered to in Spanish as avestruz, and in Spanglish as ostrich.
Typically the male rhea has a harem of females and it is he who takes care of the comunal nest.  In the diaries of La California, a nest is mentioned that held 90 eggs.
(i) Ñandú (Rhea americana), stands 1.3-1.5m. tall, is the rhea of the pampas and deserts north of the Rio Negro, into Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil; known in Guaraní as: “ñandú guazu” (big spider), and in English as the: “Greater Rhea”.  Its juvenile young are known as charabonSee Hudson’s birds.
(ii) Choique a.k.a. Ñandú petiso & Ñandú del Norte (Rhea pennata, formerly: Pterocnemia pennata), stands 1.1m. tall, and is the rhea of the patagonian steppe south of the Rio Negro and the Andean foot-hills and Puna, north into Perú; in English known as the “Lesser Rhea” or “Darwin’s Rhea”.  See Hudson’s birds.
riendas, rienndas [riendas]
bridle reins
rincon, rinconada [rincón, rinconada]
(i) an inside corner (e.g. within a room); an outside corner is an esquina (e.g. of a house or a city block)
(ii) the area contained within the bend of a river, or an open space enclosed on 2 or 3 sides by monte (woods) or a fence.
(iii) Laguna Yacaré: likely the area SW of the headquarters that lay within the bend of the arroyo Espín (where its southerly course turns east).
rinconadito [=]
small rinconada, see above
rinconero [=]
corner fence post, a.k.a.: esquinero
rio [rio]
“rl. bolivianos” [reales bolivianos]
see peso boliviano
“rls. bol.” [reales bolivianos]
see peso Boliviano.
roano, ruano [ruano / roano]
roan or sorrel with white mane and tail, e.g. palomino  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
robo, roba [robo]
a theft, robbery
rodado, rodared [rodar]
as in rolled by a horse - happens when a horse looses its footing & falls forward, rolling on the rider.
rodayo [-?-]
see rodeo
rodeared [rodear]
(i) to surround or encircle;
(ii) to gather livestock, to pile-up palm logs – see rodeo
rodeo, rodero [rodeo]
(i) el rodeo - is the herd, i.e. collectively all the cattle in a field or the entire estancia;
(ii) on rodeoLa California: mixed Eng.+Span., per context: “on pasture” or “on rented pasture”;
(iii) en rodeo or on rodeoLos Palmares: cattle rounded up (gathered together) to be worked upon or selected from - see yerra and tropa;
(iv) gave rodeo – rounded up (gathered) the cattle for review or selection;
(v) herd names: at Laguna Yacaré: rodeo del medio, rinconada, east / middle / west;
at Los Palmares: See intros to diaries 1890+ and Names of North Santa Fé.
“rodeo general” [=]
general roundup, to which neighbors are invited to take away their stock; see apartes.
rolla/s [rollo/s]
(i) rolls (e.g. of wire)
(ii) roller
rondana [roldana]
pulley wheel
ronda/o, rondared, rondaring [rondar]
(i) to circle, to hold a herd, particularly at night; nightwatch or night-patrol of a herd
(ii) to gather & hold a herd
rosado [=]
strawberry roan, see rosillo.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
rosillo, rasillo [rosillo]
roan - a uniform mix of red and white hair. See rosado & overo.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
ruano, ruans [ruano / roano]
see roano
rubio [=]

  - S -SH

symbol denotes the peso
“sin distara”
without difference, undifferentiated
saballos [zapallos]
squash (of the edible kind), pumpkin – see zapallo
sacciared [zacear]
to scare off, scared off
sackiared [saquear]
to loot / plunder
sainito [zainito]
diminutive of saino [zaino].
saino [zaino]
see zaino.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
sal [=]
sal grueso [sal gruesa]
rock salt, coarse ground salt
saladaro [saladero]
a.k.a.: barraca. A business that buys hides from estancias. The raw hides are cleaned, sorted, and salted down for sale to tanneries (curtiembres).
salitral, salitrales [=]
salt flat, salt flats
salteño [=]
from/of the province of Salta; often refers to a person
saltones [saltonas]
hoppers – young locusts before they can fly. See locusts & langostas
sandia [sandia]
sanja, sanjon [zanja]
ditch, large ditch
sanjear, sanjeared [zanjar]
dig ditches (zanja is ditch)
Santiaguenos, Santeagenians, Santiagenians [santeagueños]
people of Santiago del Estero (province west of Santa Fé's north half).
sapallo [zapallo]
squash, pumpkin
saraza [zaraza]
chintz, printed cotton
sargento [=]
sarza, saya [-?-]
no idea - possibly a sacking cover or sides to a cart? (Alfred: 28 March'92)
savallas [sábalo]
- a river fish (Prochilodus Platensis), large bluish back silver sided found in slow moving waters of Argentina's north-eastern rivers.  It has a small mouth with which it sucks slime off mud.  It is valued for its (greasy) meat and is hunted by spearing or with nets.
savandija [sabandija]
(i) bugs (bichos) - particularly bothersome or unpleasant insects/slugs/etc.;
(ii) Also slang for an unpleasant person.  Likely origin is Quichua, in which it means “small lizard”.
a livestock (cattle & sheep) skin desease (mange) caused by mites.  The mites pierce the skin, causing severe dermititis & itching leading to discomfort & loss of condition.  Cured with plunge dipping to kill the mites (or today: injections, e.g. invermectin).
sebruno [cebruno]
dark grulla.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
seca [=]
(i) as a noun: drought
(ii) as an adjective: dry
second [segundo]
See segundo.
segundo [=]
An apprentice manager on an estancia, they were typically well educated adventurous young men from Europe or the sons of estancieros. If they made a career of it, they could rise to mayordomo (manager). See administrador for more on the management hierarchy of an estancia.
semita [=]
Byproduct of making (milling) flour, contains finely ground bran & germ. Used in livestock feed.
señal, senal [señal]
(i) ear-mark - the pattern of notches (muescas) cut in the ears of livestock that indicates the year of birth and/or ownership (same as a brand would) - which depends on local custom.  See muesca for more details.
(ii) Alfred (1876) - he probably meant marca - brand
(iii) Jordan (1904) - marker
“señal punta de lanza” [=]
“lance point ear-mark” - narrow notch (muesca). Typically to the tip of the ear, also known as an horqueta. See muesca and horqueta.
señalar, señalared, senelared [señalar]
to ear-mark - to cut notches (muescas) in the ears of livestock. See señal.
señalado [=]
is or has been ear-marked
sencerro [cencerro]
see cencerro
senda [=]
señuelo, señueles, señueleros, senueleros [señuelo, señuelos]
(i) decoys
(ii) re cattle: it is tame (often older) stock included in: (a) a young herd to calm them, or (b) a new herd to familiarise then with a field/rodeo, e.g. where to find water.
see cerdearing
setobado [retobado]
see retobado
A breed of cattle, also known as Durham: red with variegated white markings. Created by crossing the best native short-horned cattle of north-east England with Galloway. During the mid to late 1800’s, ranchers in the US prefered them as a more productive beef animal than the Texas Long-horn. It was imported into the Argentine, but later lost favor to the beefier (also British) breeds Hereford (red with white faces) and Aberdeen-Angus (all black or all dark red).
show [esposición]
Agricultural show or fair. See exposición rural.
silver wattle tree
The mimosa tree (Acacia dealbata), a species of Acacia native to southeastern Australia.  It did not do well vs. locusts.
siesta [=]
noon-day nap, typically after lunch
siestar, siesteando [siestar]
to take or be taking a siesta
sin novedad [=]
nothing new, nothing to report
sina-sina [cinacina]
a spiny shrub or a small tree with yellow flowers (Parkinsonia aculeata), grows 2 to 8 m.  Can be invasive. aka: in US English: “palo verde”.
sinch [cincha]
cinch, a leather belt attached each side of a saddle that loops beneath the horse’s chest thereby holding the saddle to horse’s back. See recado.
sinch cart [carrito de cincha o carrito tirado a la cincha ?]
a small 2-wheel goods carrying cart pulled by a ridden horse, its single tongue attached to the cinch of the rider's saddle.
sinuelo, sinueleros [señuelo]
decoy – see señuelo
sobar [=]
To soften up, sobado is softened. Typically refers to the process of working raw-hide to soften it up. See redomon and trenza.
sobrepuesto [=]
the top layer of a recado (saddle), see recado for description
“sociedad rural” [=]
Association of farmers and ranchers; in the US would be a Cattleman’s Association. They oftern orgnise shows see exposición rural.
soga [=]
(i) rope
(ii) yegua de la soga - mare from the band (string) of horses
soldado [=]
solicitud [=]
an application or formal request
solidar [H]
see soldado
sorda [-?-]
La California diaries: Not sure per context: rope of hide or a measure / count of hides.
sorro [H] [zorro]
see zorro
sortija [=]
A traditional game played by riders, each rider taking his/her turn at a gallop to hook a hanging ring with a pointer.  If many, the competitors are organized into teams.  Full name is: Corrida de sortija.
sovared [H]
see sobar
square, sq [cuadra]
Literal translation from Spanish of cuadra, a measure of distance or area.
See cuadra for more detail.
in the La California diaries station alone refers to the La California train station.
stop, stops, stoped [parar]
to stay, as in stay the night.
“stops as encargado”
remains in charge; poor translation of “queda como encargado”
sub-comisario [=]
Sub to Chief of Police (Comisario).
suebracho [-?-]
no idea what, possibly related to quebracho (see AABz 1895 May 4)
suegro [=]
sugar of lead
lead acetate, sweet tasting – toxic.  Ïn 1896, Alfred uses it with Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and vitreal (vitrial, old term for sulfuric acid or a sulphate salt) to treat animals sick with tristeza (Texas cattle fever).  A concoction he calls: Duncans Cure (24 Oct. 1900), consisting of: Epson salt: 60 lbs (27 kg.); vitreal: 4 oz (113 gm.); Sugar of lead: 2½ oz (71 gm.)
sujetared [sujetar]
1901: per context, held/corraled cattle
see asulejo [azulejo] & Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
sumario [=]
official report

  - T -TETR

possibly an abbreviation for tabaco (tobacco)
tab hoja [tabaco hoja]
tobacco leaf
tab colorado [tabaco colorado]
red tobacco
tab negro [tabaco negro]
black tobacco
taba [=]
game in which a weighted cattle ankle bone is tossed, a player wins if it lands remaining face up (suerte). The player loses if it lands face down, de culo.
tabana, tavena [tábano]
horse fly, bites.
tablon [tablón]
(i) large heavy plank
(ii) raised platform made of heavy planks
tacuara [takuara]
Guaraní: bamboo/cane; takuarasú: large bamboo/cane
tacurú [takurú]
Guaraní: a large very hard ant/termite nest, most are conical 50-75cm in height, occasionaly they may reach 2 meters; each nest may last 25 years.  Their name comes from the Guaraní word for the red-soil of which the nests are often made.  The ant (Camponotus Punctulatus) is native to northern Argentina and Paraguay.
see also: mogote
tacurusal, tacurusales [=]
Guaraní: an area or areas filled with tacurú.  An infested field looks like a dense sea of pimples.
see also mogotal
tajamar [=]
artificial laguna created as a watering hole for livestock; made by daming a river or the exit to a small natural depression.  Tend to dry up in severe droughts.
tala [tala]
a medium sized, spiny, deciduous tree (Celtis tala) with yellwoish flowers, 3-12 metres tall depending on water availability, found from Bolivia and Paraguay, and throughout the Argentine pampas to southern Buenos Aires province; it prefers well drained damp soils; in tree form it is a main component of the Gran Chaco monte, it is found in the pampas in shrub form along river banks.  Hard twisted wood, makes excellent firewood.
talabartero, talbartelo [talabartero]
leather worker: saddle & harness maker
talado [=]
worn down (per context)
talero, talera [talero]
a rebenque with a short, very wide striking strap, and a thick handle.
tambo [=]
tambera/o [=]
(i) as an adjective of dairy: vaca tambera - dairy cow; tambera calves - dairy calves
(ii) as a noun: tambero – dairyman.
tamberaje [tamberage]
dairy livestock, i.e. the dairy herd
tank [tanque]
water reservoir or tank, typically round. Sometimes referred to as a represa. Originally made of a circular berm of earth, later by corrugated iron sheets ( Australian tank), today most often of molded cement slabs. Each field was equipped with at least one, filled via a jagüel or molino (wind-mill), it provided water to the bebidas / bebederos (water-troughs) for the livestock. See jagüel, pileta, bebida.
tapa [=]
cover, lid – (June 1888: cement lid for a well)
tapado [=]
in terms of horse coloring, tapado means entirely “covered”, all one color, i.e. no markings: no white socks, no star nor blaze.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
tapera [=]
Per context, either: an abandoned house or shelter; or: an abandoned village (word is from Guaraní)
tapera Varga - Varga’s old house
tapir [=]
The South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the second largest mammal of South America, weighs 150-320 kg.; it ranges from the Amazon rainforest south into NE Argentina. Excellent swimmers & divers, also fast on land; they live 25-30 years; herbivors, they feed on leaves, shoots, fruit, grass, & aquatic plants. Preyed on by jaguars & pumas when they come ashore at night to sleep. Endangered, its population is dwindling due to poaching & loss of habitat.  Common names in Spanish: anta, anta brasileña, anta danta, tapir brasileño, or gran bestia; in Guaraní: mborevi or so'oguasu; in English: Brazilian or Lowland or South American Tapir.
tara [=]
tare weight (e.g. weight of container, deducted from total)
tarde [=]
tarde - late
a la tarde - in the afternoon
tarro [=]
tin-can, e.g. tarro polvora - can of powder
tassa [tasa]
tatú carreta [tatú carreta]
the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is brown on top with yellowish lower sides, body 70-100cm, long, 50cm wide & 30cm high, tail 60cm, weighs approx. 60kg., nocturnal it feeds on ants & termites (breaks open nests with its large claws) as well as worms & the like. Found throughout the jungles of South America, including Argentina's north Chaco region.  A living fossil, threatened (EN) a.k.a. “armadillo gigante”; in Guaraní: “tatú-guazú”; in English: “giant armadillo”.  Alfred had a shell of one hanging on the wall next to the African buffalo head at Ea. “Las Tres Lagunas”.  See peludo, mulita & mataco.
tavena [tabano]
horse fly - see tabano
techa [teja]
roofing tile [Alfred: per context 9 May'92]
techar, techaring [techar]
to roof, to make or thatch a roof (techo is roof)
tejas [=]
slate or clay roofing tiles
Telecornis Eucaliptus [Eucalyptus tereticornis]
See Eucalyptus
temblor [=]
earth tremor
temporal, temporalish [termporal]
a period, typically in winter, of dismal weather.  Winds from the SSW bring cold overcast damp drizzly/rainy days.
teniente [=]
terantes [tirantes]
see tirante.
ternero [=]
“ternero por muerto” [=]
calf considered dead – term used at auction for cows with very young calves at foot.  Means the calves are to be disregarded when pricing the cows (however, their presence usually does increase the price).
terraplen [=]
higher earthed-up area, a raised road
terraplenar, terraplenared [terraplenar]
to earth up, careate a raised area, e.g. around watering troughs
testementura [testamentura]
testify, testimony
testamentaria [=]
estate sale, auction (by executors) of the property of a person who has died
tienza [lienzo]
a bundle of wool, see lienzo for more (a Jordan mispell)
tiger, tigres / tigre’s [tigres / tigre]
(i) a coloquial name for the jaguar;
(ii) La California diaries: 8 Apr’90 - name of a stallion & his manada (brood mares).
tijeras [=]
(i) scizzors;
(ii) adobe (see chorizo) hut structural element: light cross-beams, they rest on the cumbreras (ridge-poles & outside wall tie-beams).  Other elements: cumbrera, horcón, caña, paja, chorizo
tina [=]
a small tank; see cilindro & tina
tirador [=]
A wide leather belt with pockets for money, hankerchief, etc.  Covers the faja (sash) and is usually decorated with leather work (e.g. wearer’s initials).  If studded with silver coins and buttons it is known as a rastra.  The buckle is typically large, made of silver, and attached with silver chains.  Part of the traditional dress of the hombre de campo (camp-man) - worn by workmen (peón, gaucho) and managers alike - see also: alpargatas, bombachas, faja.
tirante [=]
rafter or beam (of wood), often quite long – see pine tea. Typically measured in inches (width and thickness) and varas, metres or yards for length.
“tiras de monte” [=]
strips of monte (woods)
“tob leaf”
abbreviation for: tobacco leaf
toba [Toba]
Indian tribe of north-central Argentina.  See People & Place names for more details.
tobiano [=]
pinto or paint. A striking mix of large distinct patches of any color upon a white background, term always qualified by a color, e.g.: tobiano negro - piebald, tobiano zaino & tobiano alazán - skewbald.  See overo, also Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
“todo lo que pisa”
phrase meaning: “whatever it weighs”, i.e. per head, regardless of weight
tolderia [=]
indian village / encampment
toldo [=]
indian hut / shelter, made of branches and grass, often open on one or more sides.
topo [H] [tropa]
see tropa
tordillo, tordillio, tordella [tordillo]
speckled grey or chestnut on white.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
torito [=]
little bull or bull calf.  See padre, toro, vacuno, and yerra.
tormenta/o [tormenta]
storm (heavy rain, often with strong winds)
tormentoish [tormentoso]
torniqueta, torniquet, torniquetes [torniqueta / torniquetas]
turnbuckle - used in fences to tighten the wire strandss; typically attached to fence posts (ususally the corner posts); a torniqueta voladora (flying turnbuckle) is strung on the wire  between posts.  For more about fences, see alambrados.
toro [=]
bull (as in cattle) - a whole male. See padre, vacunos for more cattle terms.
“toro padre” [=]
mature working bull
torta lino [=]
linseed cake, used as feed for cattle.
toruno [=]
late or incompletely castrated male livestock. (Oops! Missed one!)
tosca, tusca [tosca]
In English: caliche hardpan: exposed very hard light-colored subsoil, made up of calcium carbonate; infertile it is typically bare of vegetation.
“toslada tapada” [=]
horse coloring: see tostado and tapado
tostado [=]
“toasted” – chestnut (alazán) or bay (zaino colorado) with darker shadows, often with darker legs, tail, and mane.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
small tostado
tranca, tranceros [tranca]
sliding poles or gates used to close a corral or parts of a cattle shute or raceway. See bretes.
tranquera/o [tranquera, tronquero]
gate — smaller in corrales, most farm gates are wide enough for a team of horses & wagon
trap [English!]
a.k.a.sulky - a light one horse 2-wheel carriage capable of transporting 2 or 3 (or at a squeeze 4) people.
trascorral, “tras corral” [trascorral]
the staging corral before the embudo - see bretes for a description of its purpose
trasera [trasera]
rear, back
trash [H], Trahser [H]
misspelled thrash or thrasher; for which the modern term is “thresher”
trata [trato]
agreement, as in made an agreement.
tratar, tratared [tratar]
(i) deal/delt with, trade / negotitate a sale or purchase;
(ii) tried (to do something).
treat [tratar]
e.g. “to treat for” - to trade for - see tratar.
trebol [=]
clover, a forage legume (see carretilla)
trensa [trenza]
a braid or plait - a rope made of intertwined rawhide strands. See redomon and sobar, the first step. There are many different braids, each with its uses. A laso is made of 6 or 8 strands of raw-hide, braided in a fashion that results in a round rope - more strands make a smoother more rounded braid. Women often braid their hair using 3 strands in a fashion that results in a flat braid.
trensar, trensaring [trensar]
to braid (or plait) lasos, reins, belts, etc. from rawhide. See trensa and sobar.
trigo [=]
“trigo guatcho” [trigo guacho]
volunteer wheat, sprouted from fallen crop seed
triste [=]
(i) unhappy or sad.
(ii) cattle: stressed, unhealthy, downcast (likely ill, see tristeza).
(iii) land: in poor condition
tristeza [tristeza vacuna o bovina]
a tropical disease of cattle caused by parasites in the blood, transmitted by ticks and mosquitos. a.k.a.: Texas cattle fever. The cattle are weakened and may have fevers, they appear downcast (triste). It affects adult animals more than the young; often leading to death.
troja [=]
A temporary storage tower (3-5 meters in diameter) made of a circular palisade of bamboo canes, poles, and tree branches.  Used for storing corn (harvested on the cob) before shelling.  (No longer needed with combine harvesters.)
tronco, tronca [tronco]
see tranquera
troop, troup, tropo [H] [tropa / tropear]
(i) herd of livestock;
(ii) to drive a herd of livestock. See tropa.
tropa [=]
herd of livestock, typically cattle, that is being moved / driven / herded. See rodeo.
tropero [=]
a person who drives/herds cattle from one destination to another, typically over long distancies, e.g. from Los Palmares to La California. (NOTE: Tropero is not the translation of herdsman.)
tropilla, tropillia, trepillia [H], trapillo [tropilla]
(i) small herd, typically of horses
(ii) see yegua overa & yegua picasa for names of horse herds at “La California”, 1877.
tropita [=]
small tropa (herd)
trote [=]
trot; al trote: at a trot
troza [=]
large corral of palm logs (per context, AABz 1895, Apr. 19)
trun / trunes [=]
A Chilean bur oak tree. JEBz: Based on context, we believe he meant beams of its wood.
tubiano [tobiano]
horse coloring - see tobiano
tubo [=]
(i) tube;
(ii) per context (19 June'85): clear glass tube of an oil lamp.
tucurusal [tacurusal]
see tacurusal
tuerto [=]
blind in one eye (person or animal)
tulipan, tulipanes [=]
Per dictionary: Tulip, tulips. Per AABz Biography: Fireflies !! (which in Spanish are: luciernaga)
turnequetes, turniqts [torniquetas]
turn-buckles on fences - see torniquetas
tusar, tusando [=]
To trim a horses mane and tail.
See also cerdear
tusca [tosca]
see tosca
tuviano [tobiano]
horse coloring - see tobiano
see cigüeña
tuyuyu [tuyuyú]
The American Wood Stork [Mycteria americana], a large wading bird (80-115 cm tall, wingspan 140-180 cm) found in North & South America, west of the Andes to Uruguay & as far south as Buenos Aires province; nests in trees.  Dark grey neck free of feathers, body white with black feathers in its wings that are visible in flight.

  - U, V, W -

urraca [=]
Name misapplied to the pirincho [Guira guira], the Guira cuckoo - see pirincho.
vaca [=]
cow. See vacunos for more cattle terms.
“vaca con cuero” [=]
cow with skin - butchered but not skinned.  Generally relating to asado con cuero - grilled with the skin, see asado.
“vacas c⁄cria” [vaca con cria]
Cows with calf at foot
“vacas mestizas” [=]
Mixed breed cows
“vacas secas” [=]
dry cows, i.e. without calf
vacillas [H], vacillars, vacillona, vacilloño [vaquillas]
heifers or young cows - colloquial. See also vaquillonas, and vacunos for more terms.
vacuna [=]
(i) abjective form of vacuno - cattle, see vacunos
(ii) vaccine or to vaccinate
vacunos [=]
cattle. Bovinos is the more formal term and is generally only used in official documents or academic research.
Other terms: cria breeding or offspring; ternera/o calf; recria stockers; invernada yearlings; novillo steer; res beef; padre, toro bull; toruno late or incompletely castrated; vaca cow; vacillas [H] cows or heifers; vaquillas young cows, heifers; (vaca) lechera milk cow; vaquillona heifer; rodeo cattle herd/group; tropa herd being herded; tropero herder; tropilla small herd;
vagoneta [=]
Light 4-wheeled wagon drawn by a team of 2 horses - also see volante.  Used by estancias before the advent of paved roads (Las Rosas: before 1960) for daily errands to the local town, e.g. mail, fresh bread, etc.  See diligencia.
vale, valor [vale]
note, or IOU
valija [=]
valise, suitcase
see vaquilla - standard abbreviation
“vaq p consuma
vaquillona para consumo - heifer for butchering
vaqueano, vaquiano [baquiano]
(i) guide or expert person;
(ii) becomming skilled or expert
vaquilla, vaquillona, vaquillone [vaquilla o vaquillona]
heifer (young cow).  See vacunos for more terms.
vaquilla mestiza [=]
mixed breed
vaquita [=]
little cow, likely: heifer.  See vaca (cow) & vaquilla (heifer)
“vaquilla con cuero”
Per context (1893), Alfred had a heifer slaughtered but not skinned, for an “asado con cuero” as a reward to the peones for completing a task, e.g. marcación.
vara [=]
(i)a measure of length, varied slightly by province.  In Santa Fé: 86.6 cm.  (See our page on Measures.)
(ii) (AABz Dec.1896) varas replaced the caña in a thatched roof - see also chorizo.
varillas, varillias [varillas]
In US: “spacers” - wood staves hung vertically on the fence wires to keep them correctly spaced. For more about fences, see alambrados
horse coloring, see barroso (AABz spelling)
vasura [basura]
garbage, trash.
varzino pig
see pecarí de collar
velorio [=]
wake (for the dead)
venado [=]
(i) deer, stag;
(ii)venado de las pampas” deer of the pampas, another name for gama.  See also ciervo, gama, & guasuncho.
vergs [verga]
slang for penis
vermicelli [=]
vertiente, virtiente [vertiente]
water flow, spring
verugo [verruga]
viaje, viage [viaje]
trip, journey
vibora [=]
customary rations provided to the puesteros (per context 1901-06-30)
vieja/o [=]
Viernes Santo [Viernes Santo]
Holy Friday
viga [=]
beam or heavy post
vigilar [=]
watch over
vinagre [=]
vino [=]
vitreal [=]
vitrial, the old term for sulfuric acid or a sulphate salt
viuda [=]
vizcacha, biscacha [vizcacha]
a rodent (Lagostomus maximus] of the pampas, similar to a prairie-dog with black and grey horizontal stripes across its face.  Lives in colonies (vizcacheras).  Behave like pack-rats in the sense that they collect anything and everything.
vizcachera, biscachera [vizcachera]
A colony of vizcachas, typically a mound of bare ground with many burrows, littered with branches.
volante [=]
A light, 4-wheeled carriage drawn by a team of 2 horses; lighter than a vagoneta.
volcador [=]
per context (AABz diary, 1902 hunt), likely a jagüel with a tipping bucket. See jagüel.
volcando [=]
drawing water (1901-12-14)
volteado [=]
per context (27 Aug'98), a temporary shelter or enclosure of some sort
vuelta/s [=]
(i) twists & turns
(ii) round, out-and-back
change returned (money)
“walde sin fondo”
see balde sin fondo [AABz, 20 June'77]
wappo [guapo]
see guapo
warosa [huarosa] [-?-]
could mean: grey or pale colored
watcho [guacho]
see guacho
“wild cat”
see “gato montes”
“wild pig”
see pecarí
wrax [-?-]
no idea (Alfred 14 Dec'91).

  - X, Y, Z -

yacare [yacaré caimán]
A medium to small crocodillian (Caiman yacare) inhabiting the rivers, lagunas, & marshes of central South America, includng northern Argentina.  Adult males: 2½-3 metres, less than 60 kg, adult females: 1½ metres, 20 kg.  Feeds on fish, birds, & carpincho.  Fed on by jaguars and anaconda.  Not threatened.
yaga/llaga [llaga]
Sores/ulcers, or wounds.  (July 1900: Alfred’s neighbos believed incorrecty that these caused abortions, see Brucellosis.)
yaguaron [yaguarón]
Superstion? A monster crocodile of the northern rivers (in Argentina & Paraguay).  It would shake the river banks causing careless animals & people along its shores to fall into the river where the monster would consume their lungs.
yappa [yapa or ñapa]
(i) an extension (enyapado is patched on);
(ii) an extra piece tossed in for free, a gift.
abbreviation (English) for yards (yardas).  1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches (pulgadas) = 0.91 m.
yegua [=]
"yegua overa tropilla"
“La California” — horse herd of the spotted black & white (piebald) mare (Alfred 1877)
"yegua picasa tropilla"
“La California” — horse herd of the black coat & white markings (face, socks) mare (Alfred 1877)
yeguada [=]
mare herd, colloquial term could include more than just mares.
yeguariza, yeguarisas [yeguarizos]
generic colloquial term for horse livestock. See yeguada & caballo for more horse terms.
yerba [=]
Yerba litterally means “herb”. However, unless qualified otherwise referes to yerba mate – the bitter herbal tea drunk in the southern cone of South America - see mate.
yerra [=]
the yearly inspection of cow-herds (in US: the round-up): each herd (rodeo) is rounded up (put on rodeo), the new calves are branded (marcar / marked) and ear-marked (señalar) to identify year of birth, their horns are tipped or removed (descornar), male calves (except a select few kept as bulls) are castrated turning them into steers, sick & fly-blown animals are treated, non-productive (deshecho) cows and bulls are replaced by young stock.  The larger steers (novillos) and the culls (some heifers, old cows & bulls) are parted out for sale.
Typically an annual event that requires many workmen (peones).  In more recent times the cattle are also vaccinated, dosed, and/or dipped, on a regular basis (every 3-6 months) throughout the year, but this activity by itself is not referred to as a yerra. For cattle terms, see vacunos.
yierno [yerno]
yierra [yerra]
see yerra
yugo [=]
(i) yoke, usually the wood-beam that lies across the knecks of a pair (yunta) of oxen & is tied to their horns.
(ii) can be the pair of oxen, a.k.a.yunta.  See carro, coyunta, yunta, & pertico;
(iii) vice in a raceway (manga) to grip cattle by their neck, see bretes.
yunta, junta [yunta]
(i) a yoke (pair) of oxen (bueyes).  See carro, coyunta, pertico, & yugo.
(ii) a pair
yuyal [=]
weed-patch, i.e. a mass of weeds (yuyos)
yuyo [=]
a weed
zaballo, zapallas
see zapallo
zaino [=]
bay or dark chestnut.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
(i) zaino colorado: bay.
(ii) zaino pato: bay with yellow (egg-yolk) shades.
(iii) zaino chaira: no idea
zancheared [zanjar]
to dig a ditch (zanja)
zanjon [anjón]
big ditch
zapallo [=]
squash (of the edible kind), pumpkin
zarscito [zarcito]
little czar, mangled name of a horse
zebruno [cebruno]
dark grulla.  See Horse Coloring at foot of this page.
zerero [cerrero]
wild, untamed cattle; unbroken horse
zorro [=]
(i) fox
(ii) per context, light or small wagon (La California diaries: 17 Oct'90)
corrugated iron roofing sheets

Horse Coloring

In the table below we include only those terms used in the diaries (most of them, what is a: tordillo guitarra?).  We do not pretend to be experts.  There are many sites on the web listing horse colors:

The following table is our attempt at translating the terms we have encountered in the family records.  For more horse terms, see caballo in the glossary above.

Pelaje Hair Color Description
alazán chestnut, sorrel  
barroso muddy a mixture of red, grey, and black hairs - more grey and black than red.
bayo cream, dun  
blanco grey (white) often with a wall-eye
bragado -- color qualifier: splashes of a different color between the legs
cara blanca white face qualifier: white extends well beyond a broad blaze (malacara)
cebruno dark grulla  
chorreado brindle color qualifier
colorado bay, red  
doradillo light bay  
estrella star qualifier
entrepelado -- hair a mixture of several colors, often none predominating
gateado line-back qualifier: dark stripe down the back and leg barring
hosco dark shadows color qualifier, e.g. colorado hosco = bay with dark shadows
lobuno light grulla with shadows - wolf-like coloring
malacara wide blaze qualifier: face with a broad white blaze
moro iron-grey  
oscuro black (if with white socks, then: picaso)
overo spotted qualifier, see overo in glossary
pangaré pale / faded patches qualifier, e.g. zaino pangaré - bay with pale patches
pardo brown  
pato tinged / shaded yellow qualifier, e.g. zaino pato - bay with (egg-yolk) yellow tints
picaso black w/white brilliant black, usually with white stockings & white face / wide blaze
rabicano chestnut with: tail &; mane with white tones/accents, flanks spotted grading to fully white belly
rodado large white spots see overo
rosillo roan see overo in glossary for more
ruano dark palomino qualifier: sorrel, chestnut, or bay with white mane & tail
tapado no markings qualifier: no star, blaze, or socks (i.e. fully covered).
tobiano piebald / skewbald
pinto / paint
see tobiano & overo in glossary
tordillo dapple-grey  
tostado darker shadows qualifier: “toasted” e.g. zaino tostado - bay with dark shadows
varoso muddy see barroso above
zaino dark chestnut / bay  
zaino colorado dark bay  
zaino colorado
”sangre de toro”
very dark bay ”bull's blood bay” - beautiful dark blood red
No 1/4 horses
oscuro zaino
tostado zaino bayo
lobuno cebruno
doradillo azulejo gateado

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)