21 March 2012

Usage Wednesday: Mano E Mano

Sometimes it's only right to fight. Sometimes, you gotta throw down those nerd books you're holding, put up your dukes, and start punching wildly. A little "mano e mano," if you will.

"Mano e mano," which refers to a one-on-one fighting style, is often translated as "man to man." Oh boy is that wrong. First, there's the plain fact that "mano" means "hand" and not "man" in Spanish. "Man" is not "mano" just like "hand" is not "hando." It's unfortunate but it's so, so true.

Another issue is that the letter "e" is more of an Italian word for "and" than a Spanish one. "Mano" still means "hand" in Italian, so "mano e mano" would technically be Italian for "hand and hand." But I think what we're shooting for is "hand to hand [as in combat]," and so that would be "mano a mano" (interestingly, correct in Spanish and Italian).

Mano a mano (as in "hand to hand") > mano e mano (as in "man to man")

& I am prepared to fight you on this.

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