What would you buy in a ferretería?
When I first saw this (Spanish) word, I thought it was a shop that sells ferrets. I was slightly disappointed to discover that it actually means hardware, or hardware store or ironmongers. Or in other words, a place selling things made of ferrous metal (iron).
It comes from ferrete (branding iron), from the Old French ferret (branding iron), a diminutive of fer (iron), from the Latin ferrum (iron); and -ería (a suffix that turns a noun into a store or restaurant that sells such an item; characteristic of) [source].
A shop selling ferrets (hurones) would be a huronería, and the Spanish word for ferret, hurón, comes from the Latin fūr (thief), which is also the root of the English word ferret [source]. More about ferrets.
Other words for hardware store in Spanish include:
- quincallería – from quincalla (low-value hardware, junk)
- tlapalería – from the Classical Nahuatl tlapalli (dye, ink, paint) – used in Mexico
Other words ending in -ería include [source]:
- joyería = jewellers, jewelery store (not a shop selling joy)
- ostrería = oyster bar
- piratería = piracy, theft, booklegging (not a shop selling pirates)
- sombrerería = hat shop
- whiskería = whisky bar (not a seller of whiskers)
2 thoughts on “Iron Ferrets”
Just curious, was there some international demand for whiskers that I was previously unaware of :-))
In my area, with a lot of Spanish-speaking immigrants, it’s common to see a shop with a sign saying it’s a panadería (bread bakery) and/or pastelería (cake bakery).
There’s also one place which is a paletería (selling frozen treats) and nevería (ice cream parlor).