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Old March 09, 2010, 08:29 PM
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Lodo...barro

I thought I knew what mud was, but but today things got sticky.

In a reading I encountered:
...en el barro de la orilla.

In the dictionary lodo and barro seem to be about the same except barro can be clay. When I looked up clay...wow...things really got confusing. There are a lot of words for clay.

Questions:
1. Is there any difference in the usage or implied meaning between lodo and barro?

2. What would be the most common word for clay, as in clay soil? Would a different word be used for potter's clay?
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  #2  
Old March 09, 2010, 10:24 PM
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Barro is the most common word for mud and universally understood, I believe. But I've certainly heard and used lodo.

Mud is wet dirt. There are different kinds of mud (mire, muck, ooze, sludge, silt, etc.). It can be found just about everywhere, after a good rain. It is found in streams, riverbeds, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs and quagmires. Each type of mud can have a slightly different look and feel. Some types of mud smell pretty foul. Mud can contain sand or clay, in addition to soil. How thick or how sticky it is may also be another factor in its various names.

I'm avoiding mud used as a synonym of plaster or anything else used in the construction of houses or buildings.

There are at least three words in Spanish for mud. Listed in order of moisture content, from lowest to highest, they are:
barro, lodo, fango

Workable mud is usually called arcilla in Spanish, but barro can also be 'workable'. You can't make pottery from lodo or fango. An artist works with arcilla.

Wait for others to chime in. There are other words to discuss (like limo and cieno).

deslizamiento de lodo / tierra = mudslide
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Old March 10, 2010, 04:08 AM
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Barro is definitely thicker than Lodo, like Rusty said. If there's a flood, the sediment left in the streets and houses is lodo which as it dries turns into barro.
Barro would be the equivalent generic word for mud.
A potter works with barro or arcilla a makes "vasijas de barro"

Fango is a mixture of earth, stagnant/still water, algae, etc. i.e. disgusting smelly, slippery stuff.

Cieno/limo is the silt at the bottom of a lake or river bed.

Limo can also be found in water treatment plants.

Arcilla is clay. Suelo arcilloso would be clay soil, which is what I've got in my garden.
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Old March 10, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambarina View Post
Barro is definitely thicker than Lodo, like Rusty said. If there's a flood, the sediment left in the streets and houses is lodo which as it dries turns into barro.
Barro would be the equivalent generic word for mud.
A potter works with barro or arcilla a makes "vasijas de barro"

Fango is a mixture of earth, stagnant/still water, algae, etc. i.e. disgusting smelly, slippery stuff.

Cieno/limo is the silt at the bottom of a lake or river bed.

Limo can also be found in water treatment plants.

Arcilla is clay. Suelo arcilloso would be clay soil, which is what I've got in my garden.
In Chile we have white arcilla and red arcilla, the red one we call it "greda"
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:10 PM
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The word I first learned for mud was soquete. That is what we got on our boots according to Mexicans who came from northern Mexico. But, I cannot find it in the dictionary. In the construction trades gypsum wallboard finishing compound is called "mud" in English and soquete in Spanish. It is well named, it is very much like mud. In Texas, it is merchandised as Soquete. All containers have it in large print.

Is anyone else familiar with the word?
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
The word I first learned for mud was soquete. That is what we got on our boots according to Mexicans who came from northern Mexico. But, I cannot find it in the dictionary. In the construction trades gypsum wallboard finishing compound is called "mud" in English and soquete in Spanish. It is well named, it is very much like mud. In Texas, it is merchandised as Soquete. All containers have it in large print.

Is anyone else familiar with the word?
Not as lodo/barro or yeso.

In Chile soquete = socks and electrical socket. (bulb socket)
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Old March 11, 2010, 12:49 AM
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I've never heard it. Here we use "zoquete" (ignorant).
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Old March 11, 2010, 09:19 AM
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No Mexican I know uses "soquete" for "lodo" (but I live in the Center of the country... maybe northerners do).

We normally use "lodo" for mud and "barro" for the clay used in pottery.
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Old March 11, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Soquete is used near the border only (northern Mexico and New Mexico, according to one source).
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Old March 11, 2010, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
I've never heard it. Here we use "zoquete" (ignorant).
Well, yes, that one starts with a Z instead of an A
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