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Gus­tar — Dis­gust, Gus­to

The com­mon Span­ish word gus­tar (to like — ac­tu­al­ly, lit­er­al­ly, “to be pleas­ing to”) sounds com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from the Eng­lish “like” and “pleas­ing.” But it is close to the Eng­lish than it seems.

It comes from the same gustare, mean­ing, “to taste.” In­ter­est­ing­ly, as the Latin turned in­to Span­ish, the word be­came more eu­phemistic: to “taste” turned in­to to “like”, which is much bet­ter.

From the same Latin root we al­so get the sim­i­lar Eng­lish words:

  • Dis­gust — The Latin dis- means to dis­like (dis-like!), so dis­gust is lit­er­al­ly the op­po­site of gus­tar: to not gus­tar!
  • Gus­to — To do some­thing with gus­to is to do it with en­thu­si­asm. And en­thu­si­asm is just a man­i­fes­ta­tion of lik­ing or be­ing pleas­ing — you on­ly do some­thing with gus­to if you re­al­ly like it!
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