Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Atajo and Entail, Tailor

The Spanish Atajo (“shortcut”) comes from the Latin taliare which means, “to split.” How did that transformation come about? Think about it like this: if you want to get somewhere quickly — via a shortcut — then you keep on splitting what remains to get there the quickest way! A more subtle variation of that is, atajo has the a “devious” implication, such as: you’re trying to use the shortcut to get around doing it the hard or honest way. You’re trying to split the path to take a quicker one…

The Latin tailare gives us the English… entail. If a premise entails a conclusion, then, the conclusion is cut for precisely that problem! (This originally happened in reference to inheritances, actually: the inheritance was cut appropriately.)

And from the same root we get the English tailor. A tailor cuts clothing to be right for you!

what is the etymological way to learn spanish?

Nerds love to pattern-match, to find commonalities among everything. Our approach to learning languages revolves (the same -volve- that is in “volver”, to “return”) around connecting the Spanish words to the related English words via their common etymologies – to find the linguistic patterns, because these patterns become easy triggers to remember what words mean. Want to know more? Email us and ask:

patterns to help us learn spanish:

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For Nerds Learning Spanish via Etymologies