1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hidalgo (title)

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HIDALGO (a Spanish word, contracted from hijo d'algo or hijo de algo, son of something, or somewhat), originally a Spanish title of the lower nobility; the hidalgo being the lowest grade of nobility which was entitled to use the prefix “don.” The term is now used generally to denote one of gentle birth. The Portuguese fidalgo has a similar history and meaning.