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.