noun pl. vaqueros
Origin: Sp < vaca, cow < L vacca
See vaquero in American Heritage Dictionary 4
noun pl. va·que·ros
Origin: , from vaca, cow
Origin: , from Latin vacca. Regional Note: Used chiefly in southwest and central Texas to mean a ranch hand or cowboy, the word vaquero is a direct loan from Spanish; that is, it is spelled and pronounced, even by English speakers, much as it would be in Spanish. In California, however, the same word was Anglicized to buckaroo. Craig M. Carver, author of American Regional Dialects, points out that the two words also reflect cultural differences between cattlemen in Texas and California. The Texas vaquero was typically a bachelor who hired on with different outfits, while the California buckaroo usually stayed on the same ranch where he was born or had grown up and raised his own family there.