A word geek's rant on everyday misuse of the English language
Monday, May 9, 2011
Man, oh, man: Mano a mano
On "Real Time" the other night, Bill Maher said in reference to the Osama bin Laden killing that instead of bombing the entire building, the Navy SEALs took him out "mano a mano." I don't think I've ever heard this phrase used correctly. "Mano a mano" translates as "hand to hand," as in hand-to-hand combat, which according to the information we've been given, was not the case in the bin Laden incident. Maher likely meant "man to man," which would be "hombre a hombre." Spread the word.