Aguja (Spanish for “needle”) and the similar Agujero (“hole”) both come from the Latin acus, also “needle.”
From the same Latin root, via Latin, we get the English acuity. Being sharp with your wit and observations is just another form of being sharp!
Another descendent (just slightly more distant!) is acrid — because that which is bitter is really sharp on the tongue.
The a‑c root in English maps to the a‑g root in Spanish. The c- and g- transformation is a very common one too; both sounds are very similar!
The Spanish buitre doesn’t obviously look like the English word it means: “vulture,” both of which are from the Latin vulturis.
But looking below the surface, we see the similarity: the b‑t-r of buitre maps to the v-(l)-t‑r of “vulture.”
This isn’t obvious at first for two reasons. First, the b- to v- transition: the sounds are identical in Spanish and often interchanged with each other, so it makes sense that they swap here.
But more subtly, the ‑l- between the vowels disappeared in the Spanish version, with the ulu becoming u‑i. The vanishing of the ‑l- between the vowels is much more characteristic of Portuguese than Spanish (see almost every example in Portuguese, like comparing the Spanish vuelo with the Portuguese voo — an observation I first made in the Rio de Janeiro airport years ago!).
Continuing the recent saber and sage conversation…
Quizás (Spanish for “perhaps”) comes from the Latin qui sapi — literally, “Who knows?”. The sapi in that phrase is from the Latin for “to know”, sapere, from which root we get the English… savvy. Someone who is savvy just knows a lot about the subject!
The final ‑s of quizás maps to the first s- of savvy. And the ‑p- in sapere, although vanished from quizás, maps to the ‑vv- in savvy.
Prestar (Spanish for “to lend”) has its English equivalent in… presto!
It does make sense: Presto! Money just appears out of nowhere!
There is a deeper connection. Both come from the Latin praesto, meaning, “ready”, which also came to mean, “provide”. Provide, over the years, turned into “lend” as Latin evolved into Spanish: the lender is the provider, after all. Thus, “ready” turned into “provide” which turned into “lend”!
From the same Latin root, we also get the English press–but not in the common sense of pressing a button. But in the almost forgotten, more esoteric sense of forcing into military service. I remember learning in an 18th century British history class that the British crown used the impress men into military service–no, they weren’t trying to impress them (make yourself sound great) but instead to impress them (draft them!). This press and impress, in these particular senses, also come from praesto.
Today’s pattern is so easy that you won’t recognize it until we tell you!
The classic English last name Fletcher was given to those who made arrows. This is unsurprising if we remember the Spanish word for arrow is… flecha. The f‑l-ch root is obvious in both of them!
Now is when we all go in unison: ahhhhh!