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Dé­bil and De­bil­i­tat­ing

Dé­bil, Span­ish for “weak,” comes from the same root as the Eng­lish word de­bil­i­tat­ing: the Latin de­bil­i­tas, mean­ing the same. This is an­oth­er “ob­vi­ous once you know” et­y­mol­o­gy.

Cu­ri­ous­ly, de­bil­i­tas it­self comes from the pre­fix de- (“away from”) and the Pro­to-In­do-Eu­ro­pean root *bel‑, mean­ing “strong.” From the same root we get, via oth­er routes, the strong men of the Bol­she­viks. Yes, it’s the same b‑l root there too!


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