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Do­cente and Ed­u­cate

Do­cente, Span­ish for “teacher,” comes from the Latin do­cere, mean­ing, “to teach”. From the same root, we get the Eng­lish… ed­u­ca­tion. The par­al­lel be­comes clear when we ob­serve the d‑c root in all of the vari­a­tions.

The Latin root, Do­cere, how­ev­er, is first cousins with duc­ere, mean­ing… “to lead.”

To teach is thus to lead — lit­er­al­ly. Even more specif­i­cal­ly, ed­u­ca­tion is the duc­ere root, but be­gin­ning with the pre­fix ex‑, mean­ing, “out of”: To teach is to lead out of (the dark­ness of ig­no­rance)!

But it gets bet­ter: from the same root is to lead in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion… to se­duce: sub- (Latin for, “away from”) plus duc­ere. To se­duce is thus to lead away from where you should be!


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