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A una persona con pocos conocimientos se le dice coloquialmente "burro". Un "mataburros" es literalmente algo que elimina a los burros y de ahí que (en Argentina, por ejemplo) al diccionario se le diga "mataburros" pues ayuda a suprimir burros, es decir, personas sin conocimientos. Un caso similar sucede con "tumbaburros" que es otra de las maneras ...
According to the RAE's dictionary, "mataburros" means dictionary only in Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Uruguay and Venezuela; "tumbaburros", as you said, only in Mexico. Since "burro" is also used to refer to ignorant/rude/uncivil people, the "mataburro" becomes an object that "kills" those kind of people.
Yes. I'm listing a few examples from this link (Palabras compuestas): Noun + noun = noun: mapamundi Noun + adjective = noun & adjective: pelirrojo Adjective + noun = noun: mediodía Verb + verb = noun: tejemaneje Edit: This Wikipedia article also has more examples. Edit 2: I've found another composition: Verb + pronoun + verb = noun: ...
I have always loved this one, since I first read it in Mafalda as a child: correveidile. It's a whole sentence in one word.
Some used in Colombia: Cogeculos: Some situations become a cogeculos when they get out of control. For example: Se armó un cogeculos tremendo. Chiflamicas: A really bad musician. I believe it's the composition of chiflar/silvar (whistle) and micas (mico, perhaps?) Couldn't find anything on Google that would explain how the word came into existence but ...
See hippietrail, the thing is that "burro" is used as a synonym to a person without education. That's why mataburro means mata ignorantes wich means (kill ignorance). "Mataburro" actually is also used as bumper guard (Colombia AFAIK).
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