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Romper and Cor­rupt

The Span­ish for “to break”, romper, has a cu­ri­ous Eng­lish cousin: cor­rup­tion.

Cor­rupt comes from the Latin root com- (which just in­ten­si­fies the fol­low­ing phrase) plus the Latin rumpere, mean­ing “to break” — just like the al­most-iden­ti­cal Span­ish romper (un­sur­pris­ing­ly, since the Span­ish is de­scend­ed from the Latin).

The con­nec­tion is ob­vi­ous if we see the un­changed r‑m-p root in both words.

That which is cor­rupt, af­ter all, is — de­f­i­n­i­tion­al­ly — just bro­ken.


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