I think the view of Rosa Díez was generally that as an instrument of change she would be blunt but effective. Anyone who has seen her operating at close hand will not have failed to notice that, like most other Spanish parliamentarians, she is not terribly bright, and her use of ethnic stereotypes seems to confirm that, far from being a troublesome outsider, she is but a fully-subscribed member of the Spanish political class, in all its national and regional monotony. So I suppose it is only a question of waiting for a few years to find UPyD with its hand in some till or other.
The RAE has been under pressure from people who either don’t understand the concept of descriptive lexicography or who suspect that the DLE’s agenda is prescriptive, with the apparent result that of the rich lexicon of pejorative acceptations for gallego the the amended entry retains only “stutterer.” Perhaps we should attempt charity and accept that Díez was referring, not to perceived eccentricities in Mariano Rajoy’s diction as a consequence of the car accident which left him bearded, but to “stupid” in the unrevised version. Or perhaps she was drawing on popular usage, which is wider and more insulting than the dictionary would have us believe, allowing slanders of Rajoy and Zapatero as drunks, whoremongers, thieves, or bloodthirsty cigar-smokers, as in the following excerpt dealing with Galician immigrants in Portugal:
Talking of gallegos, a man might as well go among a private club of rattle-snakes on their evening of special committee… On a winter’s night in 1818, at the moment when the amusements at the theatre of Boa Horu were just ended, and the spectators were returning home, a man addressed a gallego, who was coming towards him with a segar in his mouth, and requested permission to light his with it. The water-merchant obstinately refused him the favour, which so incensed the Portuguese that he gave him a slap in the face; upon which the forbearing gallego drew his knife and thrust it into his unarmed antagonist’s belly. I saw him lying dead in the Belem-square guard-room on the following morning. An old veteran Serjeant commanding the guard, piquing himself upon his experience in matters of sword-wounds, had attempted to console the poor creature with assurances of “naô he nada” (it is nothing); then poking in the protruded intestines with his finger, he stitched up the hole with a needle and thread; but without effect, the principal intestine having been divided. After this I trust that gallegos will be allowed to find their own level in society, and cease to be extolled at the expense of those, in whose country they find employment and support.
I think I’m with the Galician in this scrap, and for my money Zapatero has more of the veteran Serjeant’s “naô he nada”, but Ms Díez should clarify asap, which may still be too late but which will amuse no end.
Update: Zapatero, like a dog eating another dog’s vomit, also seems to think that Galicians have big penises or something.
- Spain, a nation of whores, soldiers and fools?
Spanish entries from the 1811 Dictionary of the vulgar tongue, with some fanciful etymological speculation and a mercifully brief bout of
- Drunk and disorderly
A British soldier’s hazy recollections of civil war in Portugal.
- Did the house that Jack built come from Spain?
Or, How to cook the old lady who swallowed a fly without stooping to cannibalism. Cumulative songs (and monstrous nested stuffing
- Hsieh Ch’ing kao on Spain and Portugal
From the The Hai-Lu (1783-1797), as quoted on this page on this excellent site, again via TdiT: Portugal (called Ta-hsi-yang, or Pu-luchi-shih
- Why the bloody Christians should keep the Cordoba mosque
With some terms and conditions.