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Cima and Maroon

Maroon (in the sense of “being stranded”) comes from an old Spanish word cimárron (via French) which used to mean “wild”. Although this original Spanish word is no longer in use, it comes from cima meaning “summit (such as of a mountain)” — which is still a common word. Wild animals, after all, stayed at the tops of the mountains since humans encroached from the bottom.

The -m- (finishing up cima and starting maroon) is the only surviving commonality between both words today.

Gota and Gout, Gutter

Gota, Spanish for “drop” comes from the Latin gutta for the same. From this  root we also get the English gout and… gutter. What is gout, after all, if not a pain that is a constant drip or a gutter, if not a collection of dirty water drops? The g-l sounds are consistent among all variations.

Sacar and To Sock

Sacar (Spanish for “to take out”) comes from the old German sakan meaning “to fight”, That does, oddly, make sense: in a fight, you do take someone out — we still use that other sense today, in English, in that very phrase!

From the same old German root, we get the English…. to sock. No, not the word for the slip over your toes but in the old-fashioned verb sense my grandpa uses: to punch someone. So we still see that it still retains some of the fighting sense!

Pronto and Prompt

Pronto (Spanish for “soon”) comes from the Latin promptus, from “brought forth”. From the same word is the English…. prompt.

Thus, we can see the pr-n-t mapping to the pr-m-t, since the n/m are often transformed from one to the other, as languages change.

Mismo and Lorem Ipsum

The Spanish mismo for “same; self” comes from the Latin metipsimus meaning “same”. That word, in turn, comes from the combination of the Latin roots: met (just giving emphasis) and ipse (“himself; itself”) and the suffix -issismus (also adding emphasis; think “-ism” in English).

Here’s where it gets interesting: from that same Latin root, we get… lorem ipsum, the Latin phrase (still used in English!) that we use as the filler text when we don’t know what else to write, before the real wording comes in. Where does lorem ipsum itself come from? Well, Google around, there’s a lot written about that; but the exact phrase itself means “pain onto himself” (with the lorem short for dolorem — thus related to the Spanish dolor for “pain”!). So, we can see how the ipse that turned into mismo also retained without change in lorem ipsum.

Not to mention… ipse dixit!

Recruit and Crecer

The English recruit and the Spanish crecer (“to grow”) seem like they have nothing to do with each other. But looks can be deceiving!

“Recruit” comes from, via French, the roots re- (“again”) and theh Latin crescere, meaning “to grow” — from which we get the Spanish for the same.

Therefore, a recruit is literally a “new growth” — it is how the next generation is reborn!

Interestingly, we also get from the same root the English crescent as well.

Sueldo and Soldier

Sueldo (Spanish for “salary”) comes from the Latin solidus for “gold coins” — that which you pay the salary in.

From the same root solidus we also get… soldier. Yes, a soldier is defined by the money he makes: a soldier is just someone who is in an arm for the pay.

The s-l-d root is clearly visible in both!

Lado, Lateral, Latitude

The Spanish lado (“side”) comes from the Latin latus (“wide”).

There are many surprising English words from the same Latin root. “Surprising” largely because the l-t sound was preserved in English, but evolved into the similar l-d sound in Spanish–thus making the connection less obvious and still interesting.

Some examples include:

  • Lateral, and its variations such as, unilateral, bilateral and multilateral.
  • Latitude: the latitude is literally the width from one side to the other.
  • Dilate: a dilation is indeed a widening.
  • Relate: literally means, “to go back to the side”; relating to someone is going to their side of the fence!
  • Elation: From the Latin ex-latus (and ex- is, of course, “above”); thus literally, “rising above the sides”.
  • Collateral: From com + latus (com is Latin for “with, together”, like the Spanish con-); thus literally meaning, “side by side”.
  • Translate: Since trans– is Latin for “across”, a translation is literally, “bringing something from one side across to another.”

Huso and Fuse

The Spanish huso (“spindle” — what Cinderella uses to weave!) comes from the Latin for the same: fusus.

The transition is clear when we remember that the initial F in Latin usually turned into an “h” in Spanish: fig vs higo, for example. Or herir vs interfere, for another.

From the same Latin root fusus, we also get the English… fuse. Why? Well, look at the shape: an old-school spindle looks like a big fuse!

Thus, we can see the f-s of fuse map clearly to the h-s of huso.

Jerez – Sherry

Sherry jerez spanish englishThe Latin sounds for “sh” — and similar variations, like “ch” and “ss” — became a “j” sound in Spanish.

Thus, the English sherry is near identical to the Spanish jerez!

These sh/j sounds were often spelt with a “x” in old Spanish; and sherry itself is named after the town it first came from, Xeres, which is near Cordova.

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