One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Puerto Rican culture: a traditional style of singing and dancing showing African influences and characterized by a highly syncopated rhythm and often satirical lyrics, the rhythm of the vocal lines frequently contrasting with that of the accompaniment.
1930s; earliest use found in Hispania. Probably from American Spanish (Puerto Rico) plena (although this is apparently first attested later), perhaps from plena, feminine of pleno full, total from classical Latin plēnus.
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