Category talk:Spanish verb plus plural noun compounds

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Somebody doesn't like this category[edit]

HT, what are you on!!! I respect some of your other work, but is this ;Category:Spanish verb plus plural noun compounds of interest to anyone else in the world ??? It seems like a pet project which no-one else will ever be interested in. Except that it adds unhelpful clutter to the list of categories. Please reconsider !--Richardb 14:42, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well that's all very POV. Please expand your reasoning as in my reply on my talkpage. POV keywords: "anyone else in the world", "seems", "pet project", "no-one else", "ever", "unhelpful", "clutter". Do you feel that the category system is "full" and somehow needs to contain only more obvious data, or am I reading your comments the wrong way? — Hippietrail 01:03, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Note to self[edit]

I need to make a related category for singular words - I didn't know they existed when I began. — Hippietrail 04:16, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Clutter from main category[edit]

Spanish has quite a few compound nouns of a type not so commonly seen in the other Romance languages. They are formed with verb in the 3rd-person singular present + a noun in the plural. The noun is understood as the object of the verb, but the compound designates neither the verb nor its object, but the subject (the one that does the verb to the object) or the instrument (what one would use to do the verb to the object.) Despite the final plural suffix (which is likely to be confusing to non-native speakers), the compound is regularly a singular noun, and it is of masculine gender regardless of the gender of the component noun. Thus the verb mata ‘(he/she/it) kills’ combines with moscas ‘flies(feminine plural)’ to form matamoscas ‘flyswatter (masculine singular)’.

A close equivalent in English would be the noun sawbones, meaning ‘(frontier) doctor’. Other nouns like scarecrow or pickpocket are similar except that their component noun is singular.

As with certain other Spanish words ending in s, the plural form of these words is the same as the singular: el matamoscas, ‘the flyswatter’ los matamoscas ‘the flyswatters’. If the noun refers to a female, it will be feminine: thus a female movie-star would be una matahombres ‘a knock-out, mankiller’, not un matahombres. Sometimes, especially when the object is a mass noun or has a unique referent, it is singular, and forms its plural in the more standard way: e.g. mirasol (sees-sun) ‘sunflower’, mirasoles ‘sunflowers’.

The construction is quite productive, and new examples are not uncommon.

See also[edit]

(moved by Mglovesfun (talk) 13:47, 4 February 2010 (UTC))

Deletion debate[edit]

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This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

As pointed out by the talk page, seems like a pet project that should be on a user pages. I nearly went right to WT:RFDO but I wanted some other opinions. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:44, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Moving to RFDO. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:06, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Mglovesfun (talk) 14:13, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Keep, the list of redlinks is not desirable, but it's a valid, well defined category. Nadando 17:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Keep, both the red and blue links are desirable. The list is obviously less complete without all of them in one place. Unlike many Wiktionary categories this topic has been covered numerous times in print and on other websites and this category has even attracted comment from some of authors of those. What user-specific qualities does this Spanish word-formation construct possess? — hippietrail 13:08, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't like categories as "project pages", adding a hundred red links makes it harder to find the entries that are already in the category. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:53, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Ok, ok. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:28, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


Do you think catavinos should be added to this list? Not sure if it comes from catar or cata. --Dormouse3 (talk) 12:11, 11 March 2013 (UTC)