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Spanish word:


English word:

rodeo. It can be pronounced roughly as in Spanish (roe-DAY-oh) but is more commonly given an anglicized pronunciation (ROE-dee-oh).

Meaning :

In English, "rodeo" has come to mean primarily an exhibition or competition, popular in the western United States, of horse-riding skills. It is less commonly used to refer to a roundup of cattle or an enclosure for cattle that have been rounded up. In Spanish, it can also mean a roundup — not just of cattle, but also of people. More commonly, it can refer to a detour (as in the phrase dar un rodeo, to make a detour) or to evasiveness (as in the phrase hablar sin rodeo, to speak directly).


Rodeo is derived from the Spanish verb rodear, which typically means "to surround" or "to go around." Related words include rueda (wheel) and rodar (to roll). These words came to Spanish by way of Latin, where rota referred to a wheel and rotundus meant "round." English words connected with the same Latin root include "rotund," "rotunda," "rotate," "rotary," "roulette" and "control." The earliest recorded use of "rodeo" in English was in 1914.

References :


Rodeo came to English by way of American settlers who lived in parts of the western United States that at one time were part of Mexico. In Mexican Spanish at the time, rodeo was used to refer to the area where cattle were corralled and eventually to the informal competitive events that took place there.

Some rodeo terms used today come from Spanish as well. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • bronc, bronco — From bronco, meaning rough or rugged. In Mexican Spanish, the word was often used to refer to a wild horse.
  • chaps — Short for chaparreras.
  • corral — From corral.
  • lariat — From la reata, derived from reatar, to tie again.
  • lasso — A phonetic respelling of lazo, a lasso or, more generally, something used to snare animals.
  • mustang — From mesteño, referring to the Mesta, a powerful society of sheep-raisers.
  • quirt — From cuarta, a whip (no longer in common use in Spanish).
  • stampede — From estampida.

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