LATINO VOICES
12/12/2013 08:52 am ET | Updated Dec 12, 2013

How We Know The American Cowboy Is A Latino Invention

Few images scream "America" more loudly than that of the southwestern cowboy. The United States can thank its Mexican heritage for creating this mythic figure. In a country where many continue to view Hispanics as foreign, a look back at the language of the Wild West serves as a reminder that Latinos taught Anglo immigrants in the Southwest how to be cowboys.

  • 1 Mustang
    The word meaning that inspired one of America's most famous cars is a corruption of the Spanish "mesteño," meaning a "wild, untamed horse."
  • 2 Lasso
    Getty Images
    Actually comes from the Spanish word "lazo," meaning "knotted rope," as well as more figurative terms like "tie" or "bond."
  • 3 Sombrero
    Unsurprisingly, this is actually a Spanish word.
  • 4 Ranch
    From the Spanish "rancho."
  • 5 Buckaroo
    This is a corruption of the Spanish "vaquero," or "cowboy."
  • 6 Stampede
    WikiMedia:
    From the Spanish "estampida."
  • The name for this American cowboy tradition is actually a Spanish word meaning "round up."
  • 8 Lariat
    Getty Images
    Another word for lasso, this one derived from the Spanish "la riata."
  • 9 Chaps
    WikiMedia:
    The leather coverings cowboys use for their legs were picked up from Latinos who called them "chaparreras."
  • 10 Bronco
    WikiMedia:
    Cowboys borrowed this term for a wild horse from Spanish.

CONVERSATIONS