Brecas

The New Mexico word for “brakes.”  It’s been borrowed into Spanish from English as a calque.  The structure has been adapted by Spanish for a lexical entry that shares semantic properties with the English counterpart.   i.e. English has  had  a huge effect on many Spanish words spoken in New Mexico, particularly Northern New Mexico.

I’m in the process of calling a bunch of auto mechanic and parts shops throughout New Mexico.  I have a list of 22 English automotive words and I have the employees translate them all.  I’m affirming what I already know: Auto Zone employees are either really cool and knowledgeable, or really useless jackasses.  No in-between guys.  Go into an Auto Zone and test my theory.  Dan tried getting some break pads and the guy didn’t know where they kept them.  Dan pointed across the counter to the huge rack of brake pads, then Dan had to squint to see the part numbers and still found the brakes before the employee did.  Maybe if Dan had called them brecas he would have gotten them sooner.

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