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Bailar and Ball­room

Bailar, Span­ish mean­ing “to dance”, is an­oth­er one of these Span­ish words that sounds ran­dom and is dif­fi­cult un­til you re­al­ize its sub­tle com­mon ori­gin with a bunch of Eng­lish words.

Bailar comes from the late Latin bal­lare, mean­ing the same, “to dance”, orig­i­nal­ly from the Greek bal­lizein, mean­ing, “to dance or jump around”. From this same root, we get a few Eng­lish words in­clud­ing:

  • Ball­room — Yes, the room where you go danc­ing!
  • To Have a Ball — Yes, the “ball” in this phrase is the same “ball” as in bailar and ball­room!
  • Bal­lad — The love song, un­sur­pris­ing­ly, comes from the same root as danc­ing: per­haps slow danc­ing!
  • Bal­lis­tics — Di­rect­ly from the Greek, we get the sci­ence of hav­ing balls shoot around!

No con­nec­tion to the Eng­lish “ball” in the sense of the round ob­ject you throw.

Have a ball re­mem­ber­ing these!


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