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Are­na — Dirt and Sta­di­um

The Span­ish are­na means “sand” or “dirt” while the Eng­lish are­na means, well, are­na (some­thing sim­i­lar to a sta­di­um). Noth­ing to do with sand!

Or so it seems…

In­ter­est­ing­ly, both come from the same root: the Latin hare­na which meant “a place a com­bat, usu­al­ly a sandy place” but came from an old­er, Etr­uscan word mean­ing, “a sandy place”. From the old­er mean­ing we get the Span­ish sand, but from the Ro­man vari­a­tion — ap­par­ent­ly, the Ro­mans of­ten fought on sand! — we get the new­er, Eng­lish mean­ing.


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