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Ár­bol and Herb

Ár­bol, Span­ish for “tree” comes from the Latin ar­bor, for the same. We can see the Latin to Span­ish evo­lu­tion eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­ing the com­mon r‑to‑l swap, where the “r” and “l” sounds in many lan­guages are of­ten in­ter­changed.

From the same Latin root, we get a va­ri­ety of re­lat­ed Eng­lish words, such as herb and ar­bor, as in Ann Ar­bor, home of the great Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan. We al­so get some oth­er Span­ish words, such as hi­er­ba, mean­ing “grass”.

The pat­tern is easy to spot in the vow­el-r‑b root: a‑r-b for ár­bol and e‑r-b for herb.

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