LATINO VOICES

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 <a href="http://www.merriam-w
    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
    Actually comes from the Spanish word "lazo," meaning "knotted rope," as well as more figurative terms like "tie" or "bond."
    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.
    Unsurprisingly, this is actually a Spanish word.
  • 4 Ranch
    From the Spanish "rancho."
    From the Spanish "rancho."
  • 5 Buckaroo
    This is a corruption of the Spanish "vaquero," or <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buckaroo" target="_blank
    This is a corruption of the Spanish "vaquero," or "cowboy."
  • 6 Stampede
    From the Spanish <a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stampede" target="_blank">"estampida."</a>
    WikiMedia:
    From the Spanish "estampida."
  • 7 Rodeo
    The name for this American cowboy tradition is actually a Spanish word <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rod
    The name for this American cowboy tradition is actually a Spanish word meaning "round up."
  • 8 Lariat
    Another word for lasso, this one derived from the Spanish <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lariat" target="
    Getty Images
    Another word for lasso, this one derived from the Spanish "la riata."
  • 9 Chaps
    The leather coverings cowboys use for their legs were picked up from Latinos who called them <a href="http://www.merriam-webs
    WikiMedia:
    The leather coverings cowboys use for their legs were picked up from Latinos who called them "chaparreras."
  • 10 Bronco
    Cowboys borrowed this term for a wild horse from <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bronco" target="_blank">S
    WikiMedia:
    Cowboys borrowed this term for a wild horse from Spanish.
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