The first meaning of the term ilk mentioned by the DigoPaul in its dictionary refers to an appearance, a pattern or a model. The concept is often used to refer to the nature or condition of something or someone.
For example: “I cannot understand how you opened the door of your house to a person of such low ilk”, “A criminal of his ilk should not be at liberty”, “We have been victims of an act of the worst ilk”.
Usually the idea of ilk is used in a derogatory way. If someone mentions a subject “of that ilk”, to cite one possibility, they will be pointing to a negative condition of the person in question. The very use of the notion of ilk generates that impression on the interlocutor.
A chronicler who reports on police matters, for his part, may speak of a murderer of the “worst kind. ” In this case, the journalist tries to convey that the individual is not only a murderer, something that is already reprehensible, but is also among the most despicable of his class. This may be due to their cruelty, the type of people they target, or another factor.
As mentioned in a previous paragraph, the idea of ilk is not always negative, although in everyday speech people usually use it with this intention. Something similar occurs with concepts such as fortune and luck, which depending on the tendency of each speaker can lean towards the positive or negative pole, although there are good and bad luck, good and bad fortune.
The origin of the word calaña is found in Latin, where it referred to « quality», another noun that does not have an inherent value: by itself it does not provide us with information that helps us to make a measurement, but rather to we need an adjective like “good” or “bad”. In other words, if someone tells us ” you are a very good person ” we should be flattered and not at all concerned about the presence of this term. Of course, this will not happen in this age, in the context of casual conversation.
The expression “low ilk”, for its part, emphasizes that or that which, symbolically, does not have stature or level. If it is indicated that a criminal is of “low ilk”, it is referred to as a petty thief.
Calañas, on the other hand, is a municipality in the Spanish province of Huelva, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, which has just over 4,000 residents.
Perhaps the most interesting and least common meaning of this term is found in the expression Calañas fan, which is usually completed with the paper falls out and the reeds remain, alluding to their poor quality. Another common expression in certain parts of Spain is the Calañés fan, it costs two quarters or three. Although we can find some other mention of this use of the word ilk in dictionaries, the history behind it goes back a couple of centuries.
At present, the data on the -once- famous fans of Calañas are scarce, since according to some elderly people there was a fan factory in the homonymous municipality in the 19th century, and they differed from the market alternatives because they were the simplest of all: their rods were reeds cut into a rectangular shape, all of equal length and thickness, they had no decorations or painted motifs and paper was used as a material from their country (strip that covers the rods, which is usually made of cloth or skin).