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Bara­to and Barter

The Span­ish for “cheap,” bara­to, and the Eng­lish barter both come from the same root, the Old French barater, mean­ing, “to barter, cheat, de­ceive, hag­gle.”

The word, over time, lost most of its neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion in both lan­guages — nei­ther bara­to nor barter are par­tic­u­lar­ly strong neg­a­tive words — al­though both have that touch of un­easi­ness, that we try to feel we are bet­ter than.

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