A scion of noble Spanish blood. It may bring hideous notes and daggers to the English ear, with a tangling involvement of voiced stops and l; the bluntness of the d and g may make it seem common; but in its Spanish roots this little sprig grew from the aristocracy: hijo de algo – son of something, that is, of someone who is a something of some worth. And it settles its disputes with the requisite hauteur. If I see it coming down the calle with capa and espada, I’ll go hide.

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