If you have ever wondered about a Spanish-sounding cowboy or Western word, it might be in this book. Smead has 763 entries in this small A-Z dictionary with entries of varying length. The book starts out with an introduction, then Smead informs the reader how to use this book. The Spanish words are defined in English and an etymology is given for each word. Most of the words originate from Latin; many others are from Arabic, which makes sense since Spanish is a Romance language and the Arabs (specifically the Moors) ruled Spain for many years.
The entries give dates for the word’s first appearance in print in English. There are cross references and see-also references to guide the reader, and black-and-white illustrations by Ronald Kil that add a pictorial description to some of the words.
Robert N. Smead is an associate professor of Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Brigham Young University. His previous published book was in 1988, entitled Semantico-Syntactic and Sociolinguistic Analysis of Factive Complements with Regard to Mood among Adult Mexican-American Speakers of Spanish, and he has written some articles. Ronald Kil, the illustrator, is a New Mexico cowboy and artist. He has illustrated four children’s books - Teddy’s Cattle Drive (2005), Friday the Arapaho Boy (2004), Jose’s Buffalo Hunt (2003) and Millie Cooper’s Ride (2002).
Anyone interested in the history of cowboys or the West will enjoy this book. It will also expand the reader’s knowledge of some terms used by cowboys over time as well as the influence that Spanish has had on the American West. This book is recommended for any collection of books on the American West.