Languages are in constant evolution. New words arrive as a result of migration and cultural fusion, and old words remain due to the strength of tradition. Our vocabularies mold to fit our ever-changing societal needs. In the Olas Living Language Series, we search for words that have evolved from lifestyle and tradition, like indigenous words that have become part of the mainstream lingo. Here are some examples of "living" words!
Definition: Good-natured, kind, friendly.
Origins: Campechano is a word from the Mayan region "Campache" whose inhabitants are often said to live with "cheerful simplicity."
In Mexico, campechano also describes a food and drink. Yet in Venezuela, it's a hammock.
Definition: A peaceful protest full of the noise from proteters banging pots and pans.
Origins: The word is derived from the Spanish term for a pan "cacerola".
The tradition of a cacerolazo began in medieval times to shame men who'd marry young women. The word was utilized again during the French Revolution and now, in Latin America.
Definition: A kite
Origins: Holds Nahuatl roots. The word can be traced back to the Nahuatl word pāpalōtl, comparing a kite to a butterfly.