tamale

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English[edit]

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Two tamales.

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from plural tamales, from Spanish tamales, plural of tamal, from Nahuatl (wrapped).

Noun[edit]

tamale (plural tamales)

  1. Mexican dish of cornmeal dough shell filled with various ingredients (e.g. chopped beef, pork, sweet filling) then steamed in corn husks.

Usage notes[edit]

The Standard Spanish singular is tamal, and thus some proscribe tamale as an incorrect back-formation, preferring to use tamal as the English singular; note however that tamale exists in Spanish dialect [which?]. The similarity of tamale to the ancestral Nahuatl tamalli is not generally cited in support of the English usage of tamale.

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Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

tamale m (plural tamales)

  1. (dialect) tamale

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