Sunday, January 29, 2012


The word "pride" is sometimes very confusing in English.  Sometimes pride is a bad thing, sometimes it's a good thing.

We say that a certain man suffers from pride.  We tell people to swallow their pride.  Pride is one of the seven capital or deadly sins.  Satan fell from pride.

And yet....when someone behaves badly in public, we ask them, "Have you no pride?"  In that sense, pride is something good, something everyone should have.

In Chamorro, there is a big difference between two Spanish words we adopted.


Banidoso means "pride."  It comes from the root word vanidad (in Spanish) or banidá (in Chamorro).  Banidoso and banidá are related to the English word "vanity." As with English "pride," banidoso can be a bad thing or a good thing.

If a woman walks into a room full of airs, she is called banidosa (-a for the female) and that is a bad thing.

If we say we're proud of being Chamorro, we say "Banidoso yo' pot i raså-ho!"  "I am proud of my race."  That's a good thing.


Otguyoso is a different kind of pride and it's never a good thing.  It means "conceit."  Or "arrogance."  It is pride above healthy limits.  It comes from the Spanish orgulloso, and the root for that is orgullo.  But, in Spanish, orgullo can be a good thing, as in the case where a child is the pride of the family.  Es el orgullo de la familia.

You see how we borrow from Spanish (or anywhere else) and give it our own pronunciation, spelling and sometimes meaning.  You can never automatically tell what a Chamorro means if you just know the Spanish meaning of the word used.  You need to check it out first.  Otherwise you might be guilty of being otguyoso, or otguyosa!


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  2. In my family we always used BANIDOSO as it is used in Spanish. It is a negative thing. A conceited person is BANIDOSO. A show off.