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    #1

    Question I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    Hi guys, this is my first post, though I've been visiting this website since one month ago or so.

    When I worked at online assistance for customers of an American cable company, I found curious when they ocassionally wrote no problemo. Recently, I saw the word friendo in a movie as well as an "I need an explaino", said by Chloe on an episode of Smallville, the series.

    If someone knows the meaning (maybe it doesn't mean anything, who knows) of adding -o to a word, please let me know.
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by zacarias_mty; 13-Mar-2008 at 06:04.

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    #2

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    I think some Americans think it makes them sound "European".
    Your written English is very good idiomatic American, but if you speak with a slight accent that may trigger the response.


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    #3

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    Playing with language in various ways adds a note of lightheartedness and informality to a situation. If I said to the salesperson in a store, "Is it possible to exchange this shirt for a size smaller?", the person could easily say, "Yes, sir", or "No problem". By saying, "No problemo", they are emphasizing that this is not a big deal, and the store is happy to accommodate such requests. "problemo" is a kind of pseuo-Italian - many Italian words end in "i', 'a' and 'o'.
    Note that it is not pronounced 'problem-o', but prob-BLAME-oh (blame as in fame/game/same). 'friendo' would be someone extending this to other words.
    In your language, it would be the same if someone in an office asked a colleague to do something, like find a file, and the person responded, "Si si, senor". It adds a note of humour to a routine working day, because it is unexpected, different to what we are used to saying day in and day out.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    It's worth pointing out that the Spanish and Italian words are irregular: problema is masculine although most masculine nouns have -o endings. So if the playful addition of an -o was triggered by the expression no problema, it was a mistake. (Of course, that's not intrinsically bad; mistakes that are enshrined in usage are a common and productive mechanism for language change. One of the earlier sources for Romance Philologists, the Appendix Probi is a list of mistakes (that the author wanted to avoid, but which form the basis for many Romance words).

    b

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    #5

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    PS Gotta add this one from the Appendix Probi: Vespertilio, non calva soricem - the word for 'bat'. Vespertilio gives the modern Italian pipistrello; but cawa soricem gives the French chauve souris [='bald mouse'] - but why 'bald'? The Celtic word for 'owl' was kawa, and it's thought that the manuscript just had a slip - calva instead of cawa - 'owl-mouse' makes much more sense. But nobody is going to say chauve souris is wrong - that would be ridiculous.

    - I sense I'm talking to myself here - often happens.
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2008 at 11:04. Reason: Added parenthesis


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    #6

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    Thank you all guys for helping me clarify this doubt. I do apreciate your help.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I have a little 'problemo', my 'friendo'.

    I attributed the 'VESPERTILIO = CALVA SORICEM' pair to the Appendix Probi. I was wrong, and tell the full story here.

    b

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