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De­jar — Re­lax

The “sh” sound — of­ten rep­re­sent­ed in writ­ing as an “x” — trans­formed in all dif­fer­ent ways to the “j” let­ter (and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing mouth-clear­ing sound, in­flu­enced by Ara­bic) as late Latin turned in­to Span­ish. See lots of ex­am­ples: sherry/jerez, for ex­am­ple.

Here’s an­oth­er: the com­mon Span­ish word, de­jar, mean­ing, “to leave to the side” or “to put down” or to “put away” or to just “let go.”

De­jare comes from the Latin laxare, mean­ing, “to loosen”. From this same root, we get a few Eng­lish words — which did not go through the x‑to‑j trans­for­ma­tion Span­ish did in­clud­ing:

  • Lax –  which ba­si­cal­ly means to loosen up, so it is sim­i­lar con­cep­tu­al­ly!
  • Lax­a­tive — this loosens up the re­mains of your food in­side your body so you can ex­crete, to be eu­phemistic.
  • Re­lax — this is a loos­en­ing of your mus­cles and body and mind as well. Ac­cord­ing to this same pat­tern, we al­so know that re­lax in Span­ish is, re­la­jar.

See more ex­am­ples of this same pat­tern in­clud­ing lejos and leash here.


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