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Hablar and In­ef­fa­ble

The Span­ish hablar (“to talk”) comes from the Latin fab­u­lare, as we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed. The ini­tial F- turned in­to an H‑, as hap­pens on­ly in Span­ish (think fig vs hi­go.)

From the same root, how­ev­er, al­so comes the Eng­lish in­ef­fa­ble, that SAT word mean­ing “un­able to be de­scribed in words.” So, in­ef­fa­ble lit­er­al­ly means “with­out” (in-) and “speak­ing” (fab­u­lare).

We see the h‑b-l of hablar map to the (in-)f‑b-l of in­ef­fa­ble quite clear­ly!


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