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Technically a tumbaburros is a large bumper that would be used to knock donkeys out of the way when driving. Sometimes called a cattle guard bumper for protecting your grill if you happen to hit a large animal.

But that is not what is being referred to when a Mexican talks about a tumbaburros. They are referring to large reference books and particularly the Real Academia Española dictionary. The idea that it is big enough to be used as one of these types of bumpers. Or just hitting a donkey with this dictionary would be enough to knock him over.

I already knew this word, but what got me to thinking about it was when walking through a mall yesterday I saw a restaurant called El Tumbaburros. Their tag line was “La Real Academia del Taco.”

  • 1

    In Mexico, when somebody is silly, or dumb, we call him “burro” such as the animal, that is the reason, because a diccionary is called tumbaburros, is something like vanish the ignorance, like hit a donkey, in this case a person ignorant above some specific word.

    I have bad eanglish, but I hope this were helpfull for someone

    RIcardo on March 21st, 2011
  • 2

    Thanks for your comment Ricardo. I appreciate it. I think you probably said what I meant better than I did.

    Gracias por tus comentarios. Creo que dijiste lo que quería decir yo en una manera mejor que pude decirlo.

    David on March 21st, 2011


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