What is a "perpendadore"?
May 30, 2007 2:04 PM   Subscribe

What's this Spanish word? In the first bit of "The Ghost Map," Steven Johnson says: "Where wages remain depressed, scavenging remains a vital occupation; witness the perpendadores of Mexico City." I can find no record of "perpendadores." What word is he talking about here? Is it a misspelling?
posted by mattbucher to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Looks like a misspelling: the word is pepenador(es), "scavenger(s)."
posted by uncleozzy at 2:14 PM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: OK, great. Thanks.
posted by mattbucher at 2:18 PM on May 30, 2007

Best answer: Just to expand a bit, the verb pepenar comes from the nahuatl word pepena: "to choose". The modern use means to grab or pick up.

It's a Mexican word, I don't think you'd hear it in other countries.
posted by clearlydemon at 7:35 PM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Datapoint: chilean, never heard it before.
posted by signal at 1:16 PM on May 31, 2007

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