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De­s­pedirse and Re­peat

The Span­ish de­s­pedirse (“to say good­bye; leave”) comes from the Latin pe­tere (“to seek.”) With the des- pre­fix, de­s­pedirse lit­er­al­ly means: to seek away from. You say good­bye when you’re look­ing for some­thing else, away from where you are now.

From the Latin root, we get a few Eng­lish words in­clud­ing:

  • Petu­lant. The petu­lant kid nev­er stops seek­ing more and more.
  • Per­pet­u­al. What is do­ing some­thing per­pet­u­al­ly if not, look­ing for some­thing and nev­er get­ting what you want?
  • Re­peat. That’s when you keep on look­ing for some­thing over and over, and nev­er find it.
  • Com­pete. It’s when you’re look­ing for some­thing — and so is some­one else.
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