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Crudo and Cru­el, Crude Oil

Crudo is Span­ish for “raw,” par­tic­u­lar­ly in the every­day sense of “un­cooked food”.

From the Latin crudus, mean­ing the same (raw, bloody), we get var­i­ous Eng­lish words in­clud­ing:

  • Cru­el — makes sense if we think of it in the sense of “bloody”: a cru­el per­son is some­one who makes some­one else bleed, at least emo­tion­al­ly.
  • Crude, as in Crude Oil — to­day crude is most com­mon­ly used in the phrase crude oil, but if we re­mem­ber that crude oil is oil that is not yet processed, then the par­al­lel to “raw” is ob­vi­ous.

All still con­tain the cr- pre­fix, and crude still has the fol­low­ing ‑d- as well.

In­ter­est­ing­ly, the Latin crudus it­self comes from the In­do-Eu­ro­pean *kreue al­so mean­ing “raw”, from which — with the ini­tial k- sound lost — we get the word raw it­self. Thus, even raw it­self is re­lat­ed to crudo.


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