gaucho; gadgie
Posted: 01 December 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Strangely neither “gadgie” nor “gaucho” are listed in the OED, but wikipedia says of gaucho:

There are several conflicting hypotheses concerning the origin of the term. It may derive from the Mapuche cauchu ("vagabond")[1] or from the Quechua huachu ("orphan"), which gives also a different word in American Spanish, guacho and Brazilian Portuguese gaúcho. The first recorded uses of the term date from around the time of Argentine independence in 1816.

Wikipedia again on gadgo/gadgie (the latter more commonly heard):

The exact origin of the word {gadgo} is not known. One theory considers that the word comes from the proto-Romani word for “peasant” and has the same root as the Romani word “gav” (a village). Romani ancestors were nomadic musicians and craftspeople; they did not live in villages[citation needed]. In the Latin world, the derived gachó and gachí, after passing through Caló, have come to mean “man, lover” and “woman, girl”.

Could gaucho be related to Romany gadgie (variously spelled gadgi, gadjo, godgy, a man, gorgio (garger), a white man, not a gipsy), a name given by Romany gypsies to non-Romanies?  Can anyone enlighten me about the origin of gaucho and gadgie?  “Gadgie”, btw, is alive and well and living in northern England.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Gaucho is in the OED, and has been since 1898 with a first citation from 1824. That dictionary says it is “probably from a South American Indian language.” That would seem to rule out a Romany connection, although the entry hasn’t been updated since the first edition, so there is probably a better etymology available by now.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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AHD, the most up-to-date trustworthy source of etymologies, says “probably from Quechua wáhcha, poor person, orphan, vagabond.” (And I don’t think there’s much chance of Romani words getting into early-nineteenth-century Argentine Spanish.)

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Posted: 02 December 2012 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks to both and I don’t know how I missed the OED entry.  Lh’s remark about AHD being “the most up-to-date trustworthy source of etymologies” (his opinion) made me look at the AHD.  There’s no chance of me buying it since I get the OED online free, but I did wonder about AHD’s workings.  I take it they (whoever they are) in AHD find or ask for new or updated words or meanings and then submit these to a panel of specialists in various subject areas, I reckon from a quick check 25% of whom are English or linguistics professionals, 46% writers, and 29% from other disciplines.  Who makes the final decision about changes or inclusions?  Or have I got it completely wrong, and if so, how does AHD work?

edited typo

[ Edited: 02 December 2012 06:46 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 02 December 2012 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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My understanding is that the usage panel only makes the recommendations that appear in the AHD’s usage notes. The decisions on what words to include or not, definitions, pronunciations, and etymologies are all made by the editors.

An example is here.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The usage panel is a cute selling point, but uninteresting to me and not what I use the AHD for.  The etymologies are superb (I’ve corresponded with one of the etymologists and, believe me, they do their research).

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Posted: 02 December 2012 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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There’s no chance of me buying it since I get the OED online free

Colour me Straits of Majealous.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 01:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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All you need is a UK library ticket. Thanks to kurwamac years ago for the heads-up.

they do their research

As I would expect.

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