Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

The Spanish hembra, for “female” (usually in regards to animals) sounds nothing like the English feminine. But it turns out that they are etymologically identical.

Both come from the Latin for female, feminina. Hembra sounds so different because the f‑m-n root is changed to h‑mbr via two different patterns:

These two, taken together, show a clear mapping of f‑m-n to h‑mbr.