Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Image result for rrunrrun
(Verbo Intr.) RONRONEAR: producir una especie de ronquido, en demostraciĆ³n de contento. Murmurar. Real Academia EspaƱola

(Ed.'s Note: We have been asked by our Spanish-challenged monolingual friends where the name of our blog came from. Is El Rrun-Rrun a kind of slang or colloquial word made up in the innards of the local fire department station where the guys have nothing else to do but gab and gossip about everyone else?

Or is it a made-up word specific to South Texas, El Vallusco, or just Browntown?

No. It's really a take off on the intransitive Spanish verb ronronear, to make a sound like the purring of a cat, a motor idling, or the murmur of people talking. It's something akin to the pulse of the social body. What are people talking about? Que dice el rrun-rrun?

We were talking to some folks over at the City of Brownsville Finance Dept. yesterday and the subject came up. Do you pronounce it rrun-rrun, as in the verb different from walking, skipping, or hip-hopping down the street? Or is it (as we take it) pronounced rrun-rrun as in sand "dune" or (like our logo), a "cartoon?" We admit it. Instead of two "rrs" the word should have only one, but that is our compromise to the local readers who probably don't know the rules of the language. But we'd rather be understood than smug and grammatically correct, anyway.

We first heard the term years ago when we ran into our friend, the retired firefighter Pete Avila, who was one of the major purveyors of gossip and hearsay emanating from the Central Fire Station. Pete would sidle up to us (Jerry McHale, Rey Guevara, me and other Herald ink rats) and ask: "A que no saben que dice el rrun-rrun?," meaning, "Do you know the latest gossip?"

In other words, it is a widely used term in our community and is immediately understood if one has any connection to the local lingo. If not, well, you got a ways to go...)


Anonymous said...

I heard two versions of the meaning, one rumor and the other one from word runir, like the dogs bitting on a bone. Both are accurate describing the runrun which originally is with one r.

Anonymous said...

As I have always know the phrase "rrun, rrun," I thought it meant some kind of
noise - like the one the kids make when playing around with toy cars - rrun, rrun, rrun, my brother would murmur as he played with his Tonka toys. It also resembles the murmur that is heard when a cat kneeds in content and purrs. Since this media method makes a lot of noise about everything going on, the gossip that emits throughout the community, I figured Rrun, Rrun meant "gossip." I did not know Pete Avila was the Voz del Pueblo for I once
knew an older man that was nicknamed that. There was also an old gossip newspaper; I think it was called "El Pueblo" or something like that uncovered many a stories about "chisme" around town. Interesting but it sure does cause trouble, doesn't it? Just like all gossip.

Anonymous said...

The newspaper was called "El Puerto." The editor was really
funny but truthful and I just can't remember his name.

Anonymous said...

For those who can not remember the name of the editor for El Puerto
chisme newspaper, it was a Mr. Cerda. BUT he always kept it clean with
no vulgarities.