zocalo

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zo·ca·lo

 (sō′kä-lō′)
n. pl. zo·ca·los
A town square or plaza, especially in Mexico.

[Mexican Spanish zócalo, from Spanish, socle, from Italian zoccolo; see socle.]
Word History: The grand zocalo of Mexico's capital, La Plaza de la Constitución, has been the heart of the city since Aztec times. In fact, this plaza was the first zocalo actually to be called a zócalo. The original meaning in Spanish of zócalo is "socle," a plain square block that serves as a pedestal for a sculpture or column. At the beginning of the 1800s, the Plaza de la Constitución was occupied by a statue depicting Charles IV, king of Spain from 1788 to 1819, seated on horseback. In 1843, General Antonio López de Santa Anna, then president of Mexico, ordered that the old statue be removed and replaced with a grandiose monument commemorating the independence of Mexico. A huge block of marble for the socle of the statue was placed in the square. Soon after, funds for the monument's construction ran short, and the project was indefinitely postponed. The block of marble, however, stayed put and became a local landmark, so that people began to refer to the whole plaza as el Zócalo, "the Socle." The socle was eventually removed, but the name for the plaza stuck. This use of zócalo spread from the capital to other parts of Mexico, and now the plazas of many Mexican cities are called zócalos.

zocalo

(zəʊˈkɑːləʊ)
n, pl -los
the main square or plaza in a Mexican town
References in periodicals archive ?
You've got some of the best restaurants in the region, especially around 20th Street: Zocolo, The Press, the LowBrau Bierhall, and Mulvaneys B&L, which makes a great pork chop.
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A lawyer's son who grew up in one of Mexico City's oldest neighborhoods near the Zocolo, or city plaza, he studied at Instituto Patrio, a Jesuit elementary school, and followed an upper-middle-class path through law school.
The Zocolo is Mexico City's physical and emotional heart, its focus and origin.
QUALCOMM, Kyocera, Samsung, Brightpoint, Nextlink, Element 79, San Disk, Jabra, LG, Blue Ant, iGO, Calcomp/ACTS, PCD, Kyocera, Huawei, Performance Technologies, PHD, Zocolo, LG, mPortal, Talley, Motorola, Nortel and ZTE.
200, off of Line Avenue behind Outback Steakhouse and Zocolos.