Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Cold in Argentina

News reports of unusual cold weather in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay [CSMonitor, Accuweather].

One can only sympathise, given the current unusually long cold period in Canberra this winter with regular subzero temperatures since late June leading to icefrozen cars and a sudden desire to huddle under doonas even while watching tv, as even though it might reach the dizzying heights of 10C during the day, as soon as the sun goes down the temperature drops quickly due to clear skies and the mass of polar air sitting over us.

On an aside, I tweeted a link about a guatero - the chilean hot water bottle, which the author of the post ascribed to the Mapuche word for stomach - believable, and certainly all the online dictionaries of Spanish concur - but I have an alternative suggestion:

I once worked for Chilean, and he tended to pronounce the English Wa sound more like gWa at the start of words, so I guess he'd have pronounced guatero kind of like gWaterro - which suggests perhaps a borrowing from English rather than Mapuche - which is kind of believable given the English influence in Chile as a source of manufactured goods at the start of the twentieth century.

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