It’s Cinco de Mayo, Amigos! Ready for your word challenge?

Thank you to ProofreadNOW.com for this.  3D is my favorite.

Today, May 5, in Mexican restaurants around the world, people will be chugging icy margaritas by the pitcherful, celebrating "Cinco de Mayo" and, if they're not from Mexico, probably having not the slightest idea what the holiday (or Cinco de Mayo, for that matter) means. But you, faithful GrammarTip reader, will be all the wiser, and as you gulp your margaritas, tip your sombrero for the brave souls who gave their all to defeat the French cavalry in Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Try your hand at these words with Spanish etymology now common to the English language:

1. chipotle: (a) prepared or served with a generous amount of usually coarsely ground black pepper; (b) a thick sauce of meat and chilies; (c) a smoked and usually dried jalapeno pepper; (d) a sweet pepper used for making paprika.

2. mariachi: (a) a xylophone of southern Africa and Central America with resonators beneath each bar; (b) a rattle usually made from a gourd that is used as a percussion instrument; (c) things that impede; (d) a Mexican street band.

3. rebozo: (a) a slight offense; (b) a long scarf worn chiefly by Mexican women; (c) any of various beans used in Mexican-style cooking; (d) Spanish for "Play it again, Bozo."

4. rhumb: (a) a person or ship engaged in bringing prohibited liquor ashore or across a border; (b) the application of friction with pressure; (c) a line or course on a single bearing; (d) an alcoholic beverage distilled from a fermented cane product.

5. tequila: (a) a Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented sap of an agave; (b) a Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented sap of a mango; (c) a Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented sap of a cactus; (d) a sugared concoction of rum, lime juice, triple sec, and ice.

6. stevedore: (a) a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity; (b) one who works at or is responsible for loading and unloading ships in port; (c) a horseman in a bullfight who jabs the bull with a lance to weaken its neck and shoulder muscles; (d) a case or enclosure (as for storing cigars) in which the air is kept properly humidified.

7. luminaria: (a) Mexican movie stars; (b) a colorful woolen shawl worn over the shoulders especially by Mexican men; (c) a usually glazed printed cotton fabric; (d) a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a paper bag.

8. brocade: (a) a restrictive measure designed to obstruct the commerce and communications of an unfriendly nation; (b) a spit for roasting meat; (c) having ample extent from side to side or between limits; (d) a fabric characterized by raised designs.

9. bolero: (a) a long heavy single-edged knife of Philippine origin used to cut vegetation and as a weapon; (b) a loose waist-length jacket open at the front; (c) a cord fastened around the neck with an ornamental clasp and worn as a necktie; (d) a usually small grocery store in an urban neighborhood.

10. fandango: (a) the voice part next to the lowest in a 4-part chorus; (b) feeling of spiritual exaltation; (c) a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time that is usually performed by a man and a woman to the accompaniment of guitar and castanets; (d) an instance of merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading.

Read full post to see the answers.


If errors are invading your documents in a Napoleonic fashion, taking up residence in your office, and vowing to never leave, ProofreadNOW has the expert troops you need to attain victory. We examine spelling, punctuation, and clarity of your ad, proposal, Web page, brochure, Spanish menu, or anything else in print. We're working 24/7 so you can go out and enjoy the fiesta. [Note: If you were to send a document in for Spanish-to-English translation, we'd translate Cinco de Mayo to "Fifth of May"!]

Answers: 1:c 2:d 3:b 4:c 5:a 6:b 7:d 8:d 9:b 10:c

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