Sunday, January 13, 2008

Random Basque/Baske Trivia #14 and #375

(We'll be sharing random facts about the Basque (Baske) in the weeks ahead. Why? Why not! You can never know too much about the Basque, and Junk Thief plans to be launching his Basque literacy program among middle school children soon.)

Though Junk Thief generally didn't worry that his very small ear lobes would prevent him from ever wearing big hoop ear rings, it does worry him about stories about his mother's blood line. Maybe its from his father's Jewish line. True Basque are noted for their very large ear lobes, and they tend to take great delight in ridiculing lobe-challenged outsiders.

A favorite battle cry through the years:
eta tiro, eta tiro/belarrimotxari And shoot, and shoot/at the stumpy-eared ones


Euskera is possibly the oldest and generally regarded as the most difficult European language and has little cross over with French or Spanish. However, one word, jauntxo (honcho) has managed to make it into the English vernacular. Though generally defined as boss or big shot, the exact meaning of the word, through the years, has taken on other subtleties.

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At 6:49 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

Being a fan of esoteric knowledge, I do appreciate these facts. Keep 'em coming!

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jill - Will do, jauntxo!

At 11:40 AM, Blogger kusala ~ joe said...

No earlobe is too small to have a lauburu tattooed onto it, you know...

Now, whose headshot is that pasted on that photo? I'm feeling a big gap in my cultural knowledge.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

K~J - If they can put your name on a grain of rice at those stands in Union Square, I am sure even my ear lobe could be tattooed. The head is that of former White House staffer Karen Hughes. How soon we forget, or try too. I found that shot at the top of my "honcho/jauntxo" search.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Shane said...

I took a year of Irish. It was pretty difficult too. Basque is cool with all those "K" and "X" letters. Plus I have a thing for the languages in which terrorists publish their manifestos.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger jason said...

I actually went on a few dates with a Basque.
I don't think there was a single conversation in which the greatness of the Basque people was not interjected.

Nice earlobes, though.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Shane - I agree. Sadly, most of my friends don't quite get it when I wear my E.T.A. t-shirt.

Jason - Yes, I agree the Basque can be a little full of themselves, but they have good reason.


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