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Ex­i­to and Ex­it

The Span­ish éx­i­to (“suc­cess”) comes from the Latin ex­i­tus (“an ex­it”) — from which we get the Eng­lish… (sur­prise, sur­prise) ex­it.

But how are “ex­its” — like the sign you see to leave a build­ing in an emer­gency! — and “suc­cess­es” re­lat­ed?

Well, re­mem­ber that in­vestors and com­pa­ny founders of­ten call a suc­cess­ful sale of a com­pa­ny, an “ex­it.” It’s leav­ing… but on a high note.

What is note­wor­thy is that, over the cen­turies, in Span­ish, the no­tion of “leav­ing” has tak­en on such a pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tion, that the word for ex­it­ing be­came the word for suc­cess!

Sug­gest­ed by: Paul Mur­phy


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