Archive for September, 2005

For the curious, the Spanish word pajero means ‘wanker’, from paja meaning ‘wank’ (literally, ‘straw’), in the expression hacerse una paja, (literally ‘to do oneself a straw’). These slang expressions come from the fact that both a straw and the penis are similar in being pipe-like. It is the first meaning to come to mind to Spanish speakers in both Spain and the majority of Latin America.

Pajero has some non-rude agricultural meanings, referring to someone selling or transporting straw or (in the Canary Islands dialect) the barn where it is kept. These are the original meanings of the word, but not common these days. It is also an obscure nickname for people from Santo Domingo de la Calzada in La Rioja, presumably due to historical straw production in the village.

In the dialects of Nicaragua, Colombia and Guatemala, paja is used to mean ‘tap’ (i.e. the end of the ‘pipe’), and so, in Nicaragua at least, a pajero is a plumber, to the mirth of other Spanish-speakers.

However, none of these rude or innocent meanings gave the vehicle its name. There is a feline, scientifically classified as Oncifelis colocolo, which is known in Spanish as the gato pajero (‘grass cat’) or gato de las pampas (‘Pampas cat’). It is similiar to the ocelot and hunts small animals in the reeds and grasslands of South America. There are several subspecies, including Oncifelis colocolo colocolo found in central Chile and Oncifelis colocolo pajeros found in central Argentina. In this official press release in Japanese (media.mitsubishi-motors.com/pressrelease/j/products/detail310.html), Mitsubishi explains that they got the name for the vehicle from the latter subspecies, which they call by its short name Felis pajeros. The Pampas cat featured on the emblem on early Pajero SUVs.


Chirantan Mandal,

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Analytic and romantic understanding should be united at a basic level. Reassimilate the passions from which the rational mind fled. – R.M.Pirsig

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