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Ale­gre and Alacrity

Ale­gre, Span­ish for hap­pi­ness, has a close Eng­lish cousin in alacrity (a SAT word mean­ing “ea­ger­ness” or “cheer­ful readi­ness”).

Both come from the Latin alacritas mean­ing the same as the Eng­lish.

It’s fun­ny, to me at least, how the word for ea­ger­ness turned in­to the word for hap­py in Span­ish: there is a strong and an­cient cor­re­la­tion be­tween be­ing will­ing to do things, and ex­cit­ed about them — and be­ing hap­py.


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