/leuh dee"noh/; Sp. /lah dhee"naw/, n., pl. Ladinos /-nohz/; Sp. /-naws/ for 2, 3.
1. Also called Judeo-Spanish, Judezmo. a Romance language of Sephardic Jews, based on Old Spanish and written in the Hebrew script.
2. (in Spanish America) a mestizo.
3. (l.c.) Southwestern U.S. a wild, unmanageable, or vicious horse or other ranch animal.
[1885-90; < Sp < L Latinus LATIN. Cf. LADIN]

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Central American whose primary language is Spanish and who wears modern dress.

Genetically ladinos may be of Indian, African, or mixed descent. An Indian may become a ladino by abandoning the Indian dress and customs. Many rural ladinos practice subsistence agriculture much like that of their Indian neighbours, but they tend to emphasize cash crops and modern farming techniques, which the Indians shun. In small towns ladinos commonly engage in commerce as well as farming. In the cities they engage in all occupations, from day labourer to university professor.

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      Europeanized Central American person of predominantly Spanish origin. Despite regional variations, there is a cultural similarity among Ladinos stemming from their common Spanish origins and speech. Ladinos include urban classes, rural labourers, and peasantry. Although not always physically distinguishable from Indians, Ladinos may be recognized by their exclusive use of the Spanish language and by their Western dress.

      Many Ladinos practice a subsistence agriculture much like that of their Indian neighbours, although with more stress on cash crops and participation in a regional market economy. They also differ from the Indians in their greater use of advanced cultivation equipment and methods, such as steel plows, irrigation, and fertilization. Many employ Indians or landless peasants as seasonal labour. In small towns, Ladinos very commonly engage in small-scale commerce, in addition to agricultural activities.

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Universalium. 2010.

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