Used as a disparaging term for a Converso.
A Jew living in Spain or Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition who professed Christianity to escape death or persecution, often continuing to observe Judaism secretly.
Origin of marrano
- Spanish pig, Marrano (from the Jewish prohibition against eating pork) probably from Arabic maḥram something forbidden from ḥarama to forbid x̣rm in Semitic roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Spanish marrano, of disputed origin. Perhaps a transferred use of marrano (“hog"), but many sources consider them distinct words.