Thursday, May 5, 2016



Altar boy's salary

Meaning nothing or next to nothing

An elderly lady was telling me the following,

Ai Påle'. Annai på'go umassagua i lahi-ho yan i asaguå-ña, hu laknos i salape'-ho, masea suetdon tanores, ya hu hatsåye siha kuåtton-ñiha gi fi'on i gimå'-ho.

Oh Father. When my son first got married to his wife, I took out my money, even though it was very little, and I built their room next to my house.

Tanores, or altar boys, were never really paid a salary. That would have been unthinkable to the Chamorros of yesteryear. It was expected that people would donate cheerfully their time and service to their church.

Priests might give them little trinkets or gifts now and then, as at Christmas time. On rare occasions, a priest might give a tanores a few coins for them to go get some treats at the mom and pop store. But, other than that, tanores were never paid.

Thus the saying, suetdon tanores. No money, or next to nothing.


Suetdo. From the Spanish sueldo or "salary."

Tanores. For the origin of this term, go to this link

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