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Fal­lar and Flat­u­lent

To­day’s et­y­mo­log­i­cal com­par­i­son is a bit weird, but one I love. Fal­lar is Span­ish for “to fail” and Flat­u­lent is, well, a fan­cy word for “fart­ing.”

Both come from the Latin Flare, mean­ing, “to blow.” A fart is def­i­nite­ly a type of blow­ing; and fail­ing at some­thing be­ing con­sid­ered a type of blow­ing is a com­mon im­age in lan­guages around the world: think about Bart Simp­son, in our own lan­guage, say­ing, That Blows!

The f‑l root makes the re­la­tion­ship clear in both words.

In­ter­est­ing­ly, from the same Latin root Flare, we al­so get ol­fac­to­ry (an­oth­er fan­cy word for, “the sense of smell”) and blow it­self is the an­glo-sax­on cog­nate to flare.


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