The only free and comprehensive online etymological dictionary of the Spanish language
jote m. (Adjective, Noun) (Chile) "philandering;" (Chile & Argentina) "vulture," "turkey vulture"
Probably from an unknown indigenous language of South America meaning "vulture."
Origin of the name of a hill in Catamarca, Argentina, and the name of a volcano cluster in Argentina.
A much-reprinted theory that the word comes from one of the various derivatives from Nahuatl xote- "lame" (e.g., xotemol "limping," xotepol 'id.,' etc...) is unpersuasive. The semantic shift between "lame" and vulture" is a stretch, and the geography is all wrong; there is no explanation why a Nahuatl word ended up in the dialects of southernmost Spanish. Another theory, that jote comes from Nahuatl xotlapech, some type of bird of yellow and blue feathers, suffers from the same problems and is phonologically less attractive. See Lenz (1904).
Two later etymologies of the word may be safely discarded as well without further comment: one, that the word is an "abbreviation" of aligote; and two, that the word comes from grajote. See Román (1908).
Information from the Appendix Probi added. Cognates from Anatolian languages (Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, etc...) and Messapian were checked for accuracy. Material from Trask and Mitxelena on the Basque language was added, though much of their vast scholastic output remains unprocessed. Behind-the-scenes, we updated several security features.
Over 300 lemmata added. We had been working on these words and affixes for over a month. We lovingly call this update the "auto"-update because we finally added all of the words beginning with the suffix auto- "self."
Over 200 lemmata added and 22 new sources consulted. While those numbers reflect a great deal of work, the majority of our labor was spent on revising already-existing material: every entry received a much-needed re-formatting; erroneous cognates were corrected; and writing was edited for grammar and tone.
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