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Co­la and Cow­ard

Co­la — Span­ish for “tail” and, more in­for­mal­ly, “ass” — comes from the Latin for the same: co­da.

Co­da it­self has come in­to Eng­lish in two ways. First, co­da is a mu­sic term mean­ing… the end! The tail is the end of the an­i­mal!

More in­ter­est­ing­ly, from co­da we al­so get the Eng­lish, cow­ard. The Latin co­da be­came coe- in French, drop­ping the ‑d-; and an ‑ard is just a per­son, put neg­a­tive­ly (bas­tard!). Thus, a cow­ard is lit­er­al­ly: some­one who turns his tail, and runs!


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