Caballeros and Caballos


Caballeros, meaning gentlemen, is very similar to caballo, which means horse. Why is that? (and caballo is similar to capaill in Irish Gaelic, which also means horse)


Caballero actual comes from the Latin "caballarius" which means horseman or rider. According to Wiktionary Caballero can mean "horseman, cowboy, gentleman, knight, or cavalier", all of which are known to ride horses. "Gentleman" as we think of it today has less of a connotation of a horse rider.


Naomi, I also stumble over that name. I know that a caballo is a horse, so to my mind a caballero is a man who rides a horse, or a cowboy, which of course he is not. I try my best to be a caballero, and if pressed I can in fact ride a horse, but I am by no means a cowboy!


Hola amigos: You are all correct. Originally , in old Spain, they use to call all the Knights (the ones who wear armor and ride horse) "Caballero", so Dan is right about this, and for what i know , both words have the same latin origin. In modern spanish, we call "caballero" to men who are gentleman, and when reffering to a history text book or something related to the Medieval age, we reffer to Caballero also. This is an example: "El siempre se comporta como un caballero frente a las damas" (He alwasys acts like a gentleman in front of the ladies) "Los caballeros del Rey Arturo juntos en la mesa redonda" (King Arthur`s knights together in the roundtable" On the other hand, or spanish word for "cowboy" is "vaquero", which comes from "vaca" that means "cow". So it has the same meaning in english and spanish. I hope this helps! Saludos desde Tijuana, Mexico amigos!


I am attending a weekly session called "Conversar en Español" It is led by a former college Spanish professor, and all of the other attendees are far more fluent in Spanish than I. But they mostly just let me listen, which is fine with me. Anyway, the topic the other day was The Kentucky Derby and the leader tried to include me in the conversation by asking if I like the Derby. I said, "Sí, pero mi enamorada y yo vimos porque ella se gusta caballeros." Of course I meant caballos and immediately corrected myself but it was already out there and they had a good laugh at my expense. An easily-embarrassed person should not endeavor to learn a new language!


Dan, On the contrary, everyone should endeavor to learn a new language! The liklihood of you making that same "faux pas" is quite slim. Personally, I have confused cabello and caballo enough times that I try to use pelo when referring to hair. Unfortunately, many times I say pelu which is not even a spanish Word! Am I easily embarrassed? Yes, many times... Laughter is good medicine! :)


Patrice: of course I agree with you that everyone should learn more languages than the one they first spoke. But it is a challenging task that we set for ourselves. And for the record, I was laughing as hard at myself as anyone else in the room.


Using "caballero" for gentlemen confused me at first until I learned the word "vaquero" and was able to separate in my mind the one who works on a horse and the one who owns horses to ride, which in older days was reserved for the wealthy. Until now I hadn't realized that the word also referred to knights, but that makes sense to me in some strange way. By the way, as I understand it, the English word "buckaroo" is a perversion of "vaquero."

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