Friday, August 30, 2013


There are a good number of Chamorro words that sound like we borrowed them from the Spaniards, but we didn't.

We just made our own word sound a bit more Spanish.

Take the Chamorro word babarias.

There is no such word in Spanish.  The root of the word is purely Chamorro; båba.  It means "bad."  Someone whose head is bad is "båbaba i ilu-ña."

We attached the Spanish ending -rías to the Chamorro båba, to mean "foolishness, silliness."

There is a Spanish word bobo (or boba for women) which means a "fool, idiot or dunce."  But that's a stretch to go from bobo/boba to båba.  Anyway, in Spanish there is no word bobarías.

Far more likely is that Chamorros added the Spanish -rías to the Chamorro båba.  The -rías ending is seen in many Spanish words.  Tonto (or "stupid) becomes tonterías (nonsense, absurdities).  Puerco (pig) becomes porquerías (filth, junk, rubbish).

Some examples of the use of our word babarias :

Ti ya-ho!  Puro ha' babarias I don't like it!  It's all rubbish!

Babarias ha' kuentotos-ña.  S/he's only talking nonsense.

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