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Coima and Calum­ny

Coima (Span­ish for “a bribe” and an un­for­tu­nate­ly com­mon word) comes from the Latin calvor, which means, “to cheat, de­ceive, trick”.

From that root, we get the Eng­lish… calum­ny, which means “slan­der” (in case you for­got your SAT words or did­n’t go to Law School!).

It is easy to see how a word mean­ing “cheat­ing” trans­formed in­to both bribery on one hand, and slan­der on the oth­er.

The c‑m of coima maps to the c-(l)-mn of calum­ny, with the “l” hav­ing been slurred out over time.


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