I have seen a few signs and menus in Mexico City that say "bistec de res". I understand this, though, to mean "beef steak of beef". The de res seems totally unnecessary to me, whose first language is English, and I am curious why it is included.
According to Wiktionary, bistec comes, as it appears, from the English beef steak.
According to Spanish Dict it means
(culinary) a. steak b. beefsteak
The first definition, I suppose, is vague enough to allow for the clarification of de res to be helpful. Can bistec refer to non-beef steaks?
I was surprised to learn that res doesn't necessarily mean beef:
- (animal) a. livestock b. beast c. cattle
- (culinary) (Latin America) a. beef
- (culinary) (Mexico) a. steak
Bistec de res is obviously a culinary reference, so we can ignore the first part of the definition. The Mexico specific part of the definition actually surprises me more, because it means the de res doesn't add anything to bistec, as it would if the latter no longer carried the connotation of beef: the (beef) steak of steak.
Perhaps it is that bistec still means beef but but necessarily steak (and in fact often you receive bistec finely chopped, no longer in steak form) and the res clarifies the form rather than the animal?
Does bistec de res mean anything different than bistec, either by definition or nuance?
- Bistec is a generic word for steak; de res clarifies the animal.
- Bistec is a generic word for beef; de res clarifies the form.
- This repeated construction is the erroneous product of uninformed writers.