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Char­lar and Char­la­tan

Char­lar (Span­ish for “to chat”) comes from the Ital­ian cia­r­la — as does the Eng­lish… char­la­tan. We can see the ch-r‑l root in both eas­i­ly.

In­ter­est­ing­ly, the Eng­lish word has tak­en a neg­a­tive turn while the Span­ish, not so much. I would at­tribute this to the An­glo-Sax­on cul­ture’s look­ing down on­to talk with­out ac­tion, while the Latin cul­ture’s fo­cus on talk even if it means in­ac­tion.

Al­so from the same root is the Eng­lish, cha­rade. Cha­rade, like char­la­tan, con­tains the neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions of the ap­pear­ance, not re­al­i­ty.


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