Wednesday, June 25, 2014


KASADULES : hunter

This word is so forgotten, it doesn't even make it into the latest Chamorro dictionary; a very extensive dictionary at that.

But it is found in Påle' Roman's Chamorro dictionary of 1932.

It's interesting because both peskadot and kasadules are derived from Spanish loan words.

Peskadot originally just meant "fisherman."  It comes from the Spanish words pescar, which means "to fish."

Chamorros also borrowed from that word and use peska to mean "to fish."

Pumepeska si Jose.  Jose is fishing.

One could also say pipeska. Someone who peska (the duplication of the first syllable means continuous or habitual activity). For example, kånta is "to sing." A kakanta is someone who habitually sings, i.e. a singer.

It all goes together nicely when one recalls that the Spanish word for "fish" is pez. That itself comes from the Laitn word for "fish," which is piscis, in the plural, pisces.  Yes, like the zodiac sign.

We have our own indigenous way of saying "to catch fish."  We use the root word konne', which means "to take" but is applied only to living or animate objects (or inanimate objects which represent living things, like the statue of a saint).

Mangonne' guihan nigap si Jose.  Jose caught fish yesterday.

The prefix e'- means "to look for." E'che'cho' means "to look for work." E'guihan means "to look for fish." This is probably connected to higuihan, a word Påle' Román says (in 1932) means "fisherman."

Sipik is a word defined by de Freycinet as "fisherman." De Freycinet was a French explorer who visited Guam in 1819.

A talayero is someone who uses a talåya, a specific kind of throw net used for fishing. That word comes from a word used in Latin America for a throw net, atarraya. The -ero suffix should be a clue as to the Hispanic background of the word talayero. We see it in panadero (baker); pan (bread) plus -adero.


Påle' Román's 1932 dictionary

In past times, Chamorros also borrowed the Spanish word cazadores, which means "hunters."

The caza is the hunt, or the chase (connected to the word caza). Caza-dor is someone on the chase, who hunts.

Since we don't like the R sound, when Chamorros pronounced this word, the R was changed to L and it came out kasadules.

Compare the sticker above, with the deer and peskadot, and this sticker with a deer as well but with cazadores.  The word is used in the brand name of a kind of tequila.  Hunters' tequila!

In more recent times, more and more people stopped using kasadules.  But people still hunt, so they turned to peskadot to refer to hunters.

By the way, why is it kasadules, in the plural, even when talking about one hunter?

Because, for whatever reason, many words we borrowed from Spanish we keep in the plural, even if we refer to a single object.

Think of un espehos (one mirror), tres na espehos (three mirrors).

Un sapåtos (one shoe), sais na sapåtos (six shoes).

There's no logical reason for it.  It's just what we thought sounded better.

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