Halapid’s Policy Toward Use of “Marrano”

The word “Marrano” is not generally used in Halapid articles because of the common understanding of its pejorative nature generally believed to have come from the Spanish word for swine Exception to this policy are made when the term is inimical to an article Our page one article by David Ramirez in the Summer 2000 issue is one of these exceptions

In his work A History of the Marranos Historian Cecil Roth presents an analysis of its derivation He lists terms used by the general population of early modern Spain Among these are converso or convert and New Christians as distinguished from Old Christians

Roth next describes another less known term such Alboraycos from alBurak Mohammed’s steed “which was neither horse nor mule male nor female – much like the persons to whom the name was applied who were neither Jews nor Christians” He then addresses the term Marrano giving some of its “fanciful” derivations Some come from Hebrew such as Mar’at ’Ayin Appearance of the Eye; Mumar apostate; Mohram Atta Thou Art Excommunicated; and Mar Anuss Master Anuss From the Arabic there is Mura’in or hypocrite and from the ecclesiastical Anathema Maranatha

Then Roth calls “all this linguistic speculationneedless” claiming the Spanish swine as the correct source and closes with an attempt to reinvent the word as an inyourface term

Halapid editors know that many present day descendants of those who have lived in terror and insecurity for centuries see little romantic in the experience and so we have abjured the term unless used in a historical or academic context We will continue to do so and invite readers’ comments

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