Language Resources

Word of the month... Dontancredismo

This word, although it is long and complicated, has quite an attractive meaning. The “dontancredismois the unshakeable attitude of someone who does not realize the threat of a great danger. A person with a cold or serious temperament who maintains a “poker face” can be described as “dontancredismo”.

But where exactly does this word come from? There was a man called Tancredo López, a luckless bullfighter who decided to do something  unthinkable: he stood opposite the bull hoping he would be ignored. It worked and the “dontrancredo” ended up becoming an interesting form of bullfighting in which an amateur or novice, usually with nothing to lose, climbed up a pedestal, and dressed in white, pretended to be a statue. It was a dangerous move, as you can imagine, and it was not surprising when the performance ended in a gory fashion.

So there are many people who use the word to describe those who do not react towards an imminent danger and are overwhelmed by their situation.

So is it a good or bad word? As with many other things it depends on the use and the user; but we can all agree it is a fascinating word.

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