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Es­per­ar and De­spair, Speed

The Span­ish es­per­ar — the com­mon word mean­ing “hope, wait, ex­pect” — comes from the Latin sper­are for the same.

So it’s un­sur­pris­ing that its op­po­site in Span­ish, des­per­ar, par­al­lels ex­act­ly the Eng­lish, de­spair. Ah­h­hh!

Less ob­vi­ous is that the Latin sper­are comes from the Pro­to-In­do-Eu­ro­pean root *spe, mean­ing “to thrive”, from which we al­so get the Eng­lish, speed.

Speed­ing and hop­ing are in­deed both forms of thriv­ing!

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