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Em­ba­ja­da and Em­bassy

Em­bassy (and Am­bas­sador) and its Span­ish equiv­a­lent, Em­ba­ja­da (and Em­ba­jador), both come from the same an­ces­tor, the Old French Am­bac­tos.

What is most in­ter­est­ing about these two is that it is an ex­am­ple of the pat­tern where the ‑j- sound in Span­ish maps to the ‑sh- sound (and its cousins, like ‑ss- and ‑ch-) in Eng­lish. Re­mem­ber syrup and jarabe, chess and aje­drez, sher­ry and jerez, and push and em­pu­jar for a few ex­am­ples.

Thus, the m‑b-j of emaba­ja­da maps to the m‑b-ss of em­bassy.


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