Hidalgo (Spanish nobility)

Hidalgo (Spanish Nobility)

Hidalgo (Spanish nobility)

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An hidalgo () or fidalgo (, ) is a member of the Spanish and Portuguese nobility. In popular usage it has come to mean the non-titled nobility. Hidalgos were exempt from paying taxes, but did not necessarily own real property. The feminine is hidalga in Spanish and fidalga in Portuguese and Galician.


Since at least the twelfth century, the words fijo d'algo (often literally translated as "son of something"), or its common contraction, fidalgo, was used in the Kingdoms of Castile and Portugal to refer to the nobility. In Portugal the cognate remained fidalgo, although these "nobles" had a somewhat different status from the Spanish hidalgos. In the Kingdom of Aragon the counterpart of the Castilian hidalgos were called infanzones (singular: infanzón). With the changes in Spanish pronunciation that occurred in the late Middle Ages, the became silent giving rise to the modern pronunciation and spelling, hidalgo.Corominas, Joan and José A Pascual (1981). "Hijo" in Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico, Vol. G-Ma (3). Madrid: Editorial Gredos, 359-360. ISBN 84-249-1362-0 (see History of the Spanish language).

Fijo (from the Latin "filius-filii", evolved to Filio) or later Hijo, together with "de" (of) and a noun to describe someone. Although the word algo generally means "something", in this expression the word specifically denotes "riches" or...
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