Marrano

Marrano

[muh-rah-noh]
noun, plural Marranos.
a Spanish or Portuguese Jew who was converted to Christianity during the late Middle Ages, usually under threat of death or persecution, especially one who continued to adhere to Judaism in secret.

Origin:
< Spanish: literally, pig, from the Jewish law forbidding the eating of pork (probably < Arabic maḥram forbidden)

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World English Dictionary
Marrano (məˈrɑːnəʊ)
 
n , pl -nos
a Spanish or Portuguese Jew of the late Middle Ages who was converted to Christianity, esp one forcibly converted but secretly adhering to Judaism
 
[from Spanish, literally: pig, with reference to the Jewish prohibition against eating pig meat]

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Word Origin & History

Marrano
"Jew or Moor converted to Christianity," 1580s, from Sp., probably lit. "pig, swine," an expression of contempt, from Arabic muharram "forbidden thing" (eating of pork is forbidden by Muslim and Jewish religious law), from haruma "was forbidden" (see harem).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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