¿Que What?

The wife is planning to make quesadillas one of these days, and it inspired me to write up a quick etymology of this fascinating word.

Quesadilla (pron. kay-suh-dee-uh) of course comes from the Spanish language. As we all know, “Que” is the Spanish word for “What” when posing a question. “Sadilla”, in turn, is a spelling corruption of the French “cedilla“, which is pronounced the same way. A cedilla is a French bit of punctuation — that little squiggle you sometimes see under the letter “ç”. (Ooooh, alliteration!)

So “Que Sadilla” literally translates as “What French?”, or more meaningfully, “I don’t speak French” — which makes sense, as the speaker clearly speaks Spanish. As for how this strange term came to represent a delicious cheese-stuffed food, well, everyone knows that the French are notorious cheese-eaters, so there you go.

Here endeth the lesson.

Update:

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4 Responses to “¿Que What?”

  1. Brian Says:

    one of these days,

    Dude. You can never eat too many quesadillas. Well, you probably _can_ but .. man it’s always a good night for quesadillas. Unless it’s a good night for burritos. Or bulgogi.

    Mm – being married to an Italian-American raised by a Korean is awesome.

  2. Strider Says:

    Heh. That reminds me of the joke about the Jewish-Japanese restaurant….

  3. Brian Says:

    I don’t believe I’ve heard that one.

  4. Strider Says:

    Heh. I’m mean 😉

    Didja hear the one about the Jewish Japanese restaurant?

    It’s called “Sosumi”

    (Thank you, Thank you. I’ll be here all week….)

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