LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||31/DEZ/2007 4:08 PM|
When speaking of mines in the Old West, you will hear "sourdough" or "prospector" used to refer to miners who work alone or in small groups. They are self-employed, not employees of a company or a mine. The term "sourdough" comes from the custom of carrying a small bag of fermented dough next to the body to keep the fermentation process going. When the man wanted to make bread, he would take a pinch of the fermented dough and add it to the flour he was using for the bread. A "placer miner" is someone who digs down to the bedrock, carefully panning the last inches of sand and gravel there. Since gold is extremely heavy, if there is gold in the area some may be found there. The term "forty niner" (fortyniner, forty-niner) is also used, but technically it refers only to those who ventured west in 1849 to search for gold in California. A "claim jumper" is a miner who illegally works inside the boundaries of a mining area that in theory is the exclusive domain of another. A "highgrader" is someone who tries to sell the rights to a mine by making the mine appear to be much richer than it really is. This can be done by bringing to the mine gold bearing ore from another mine. A favorite technique was to put gold dust into a shotgun and fire it at the wall of a mine, giving the impression that the gold is from a "vein". A "gold panner" uses a pan to find gold in streams. I`ve panned for gold, and it´s not much fun.
If you are writing about Brazil, why not use ¨"garimpeiro"? I´ve seen the word in American magazines. You would want to include a brief definition of the term, but the word will not be new to many of your readers.
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