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Apel­li­do and Re­peal

The Span­ish apel­li­do, for “last name” (“sur­name” to the Brits) has a cousin in the Eng­lish re­peal and ap­peal.

All of these come from the Latin ap­pel­lare, mean­ing, “to call.”

The Span­ish makes sense: your last name is which tribe the world calls you by!

The Eng­lish ap­peal is, in­deed, when you call for a high­er au­thor­i­ty for help. And re­peal is when you call back, push back to those who tried to do some­thing to you.

The p‑l map­ping is con­sis­tent amongst all the vari­a­tions, with slight changes in spelling (sin­gle l vs dou­ble l, for ex­am­ple).


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