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Cera and Sin­cere

The Eng­lish sin­cere is from the Latin “sine cera” — lit­er­al­ly, “with­out wax.”

From that same root is… the Span­ish, cera, for “wax” (not to men­tion, the Span­ish sin, al­so mean­ing, “with­out.”) The c‑r root is easy to see in both words.

How­ev­er, what does “wax” have to do with “sin­cer­i­ty”? Well, wax was used to make masks — and makes hid your face, hid your emo­tions, hid your true self. With­out wax, your face, your emo­tions, and your true self would be ex­posed to the world: you would be­come sin­cere.

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