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Au­topista and Piz­za

Au­topista (Span­ish for “high­way”) comes from the words au­to- (you can guess what that one means!) and pista, which is Span­ish for “track” (think, train tracks, or the track that run­ners run on).

But where does pista come from? The Latin pis­tus (“to pound” — think of the mo­tion of pound­ing some­thing in­to dust as be­ing a bit like the run­ning around the track! Pound­ing the pave­ment!). From this Latin pis­tus, we get a few Eng­lish words in­clud­ing… piz­za (via Ital­ian, of course! Think of the pound­ing need­ed to make the piz­za dough!) and pis­ton (the pis­ton en­gine go­ing in cir­cles is a bit like run­ning as well!).

Thus, we can see the p‑st of au­topista maps to the p‑zz of piz­za and the p‑st of pis­ton.


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