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Almuerzo and Morsel

Almuerzo (Spanish for “lunch”) comes from the Latin morsus, “a small bite.” Lunch is just a really small bite of food!

From the same root morsus, we also get the English for a small bit of food: a morsel. Ahhh! The (al)-m-r-z of almuerzo maps to the m-r-s of morsel.

Afiche and Affix

The Spanish for “poster”, afiche, comes from the Latin figere, meaning, “to fasten”. From that same root, we get the English affix — and we can see that clearly, as the a-f-ch of afiche maps clearly to the a-f-x of affix.

More distantly, from the original Latin root figere, we get the English… fix. You can see the Latin root f-g map to the English f-x as well!

Exito and Exit

The Spanish éxito (“success”) comes from the Latin exitus (“an exit”) — from which we get the English… (surprise, surprise) exit.

But how are “exits” — like the sign you see to leave a building in an emergency! — and “successes” related?

Well, remember that investors and company founders often call a successful sale of a company, an “exit.” It’s leaving… but on a high note.

What is noteworthy is that, over the centuries, in Spanish, the notion of “leaving” has taken on such a positive connotation, that the word for exiting became the word for success!

Suggested by: Paul Murphy

Mientras and Interim

Mientras (Spanish for “while”), comes from the Latin dum interim, meaning, “in the meantime,” which itself comes from the earlier basic prefix, inter-. Interim has entered formal English speech meaning the same, of course.

The n-t-r root is visible in both mientras and interim — but it is less obvious because of the m– opening sound, from the lost prefix dum (“out of”).

Lanzar and Launch, Lance

Lanzar (Spanish for “to throw, launch”) comes from the Latin lanceare “to pierce with a lance.”

From this root, we can see connections to various English words, including: launch (which is a form of throwing!), lance (it is the stick that the wield to pierce!), and even élan (think of ex-lanceare: to take the energy out of the throw!).

We can see the clear l-n-z to l-n-c (or l-n-ch, in the case of launch) mapping. The -z- and -c- sounds are similar and thus often swap.

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