It sounds nothing like the similar words in English, except… it turns out to be a close cousin of drape & drapery.
All come from the same old Irish word, drapih, meaning, “garment.”
We can see the parallel in the t-r-p and d-r-p mapping. Both are the same roots except for the t/d shift, which is a very common and not-noteworthy transition.
A drape, after all, is a form of a cloth.
The Spanish hilo (cord; thread; string) comes from the Latin for the same, filum. The words sound very different, until we remember that, words in Latin that began with a f- tended to change to h- in Spanish: hijo/filium, and hoja/foliage, for example. Now the hilo/filum make sense!
Interestingly, however, from that same Latin root filum, we get various English words that also quietly show they are descendants of the word for cord or thread. Including:
From the Latin root, we get the English… mandate (“to give with your hand” – thus related to mano as well): what is a mandate if not a written order to give to someone? The best mandates are when you deliver them yourself anyway, not through intermediaries. The dare connection explains where the -d- after the hand comes from!
Another English word from the same root: tradition. That word comes from the Latin tradere, literally, “to hand over” — the tra– is the same trans- root (“over”), while the dere is the same “give.” In today’s way of walking, we’d say that tradition is what is handed down to us: it is what is given to us. Literally. ANd you can see the -d- in the word from dare as well clearly!
The Spanish eje for “axle” comes from the Latin for the same, axis. The English axle comes from the same common ancestor as the Latin axis, the proto-indo-european root *aks– also meaning the same.
The Spanish eje is easy to understand if we remember that most of the x/sh/ch sounds in Latin and the ancient languages became the throat-clearing -j- sound in Spanish. Thus, the e-j of eje maps to the a-x of axle pretty clearly.
It’s interesting how such a simple word has remained mostly unchanged for tens of thousands of years. Perhaps, the axle is one of the most fundamental discoveries in human history. It is, after all, what led to the wheel, which led to… civilization.
But this is odd as they sound so different! How are they related?
It’s not obvious, but it’s easy once you understand the pattern: The Latin sound “sh” and very similar sounds (such as the “ch” and “sy”) almost always became a “j” in Spanish. Like syrup and jarabe. Not obvious!
The mapping is obvious with the f-g retained in both versions.
Thus, in Spanish, a shooting star is literally, a fleeing star. But fleeing from what?
Revenge, after all, is just one way to vindicate yourself!
If we remember the reinforcing re– prefix, we can see that the v-n-ch of revancha maps to the v-n-(d)-c of vindicate.
The Spanish aval (“guarantee, as in a bank guarantee”) comes from the French aval, meaning “downward”. The French word comes from the Latin vallem, meaning valley — a valley does slope downward, after all. From that same root, we get the English… avalanche, which is an overwhelming amount of the valley tumbling downwards!
But all this leaves the question: how did the word for “downward” turn into the word for a “loan guarantee”? That part is unknown. But we could speculate that the creditor calling upon a guarantor to pay in the case of a default is a low point for the borrower. Or perhaps, you need a guarantor only when you’re at a low point yourself. Or…? Since we don’t know the history, we can create infinite variations that sound like they might make sense, as a fun exercise.
You can see the a-v-l root in all the variations clearly.
So, facil — easy — is literally, doing! Doing is easy, we hope.
Difficult is really just de-facil : that is, not facil. Now that is easy, indeed!
The connection becomes clear when we remember the f-c-l root in both words!
From the same root, we get the sophisticated English word pluvial which means… lots of rain!
The ll-v of lluvia clearly maps to the p-l of pluvial.