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Calor and Calm

The Span­ish for “hot”, calor, sounds noth­ing like the Eng­lish for the same.

But it does have a sur­pris­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Eng­lish calm.

Both come from the Latin cau­ma, which means “the heat of the sun in the mid­dle of the day”. (What a spe­cif­ic con­cept! We need an Eng­lish word for the same!). Cau­ma comes from the Latin calere, “to be hot.”

Thus, the word for heat has turned in­to, in Eng­lish, the word for tran­quil­i­ty: calm! The heat, in­deed, does calm us down!

We can see the pat­tern clear­ly if we map the root c‑l of calor to the c‑l of calm. The silent “l” in calm makes this less ob­vi­ous than it should be!

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