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Jeringa — Sy­ringe

Jeringa, Span­ish for Sy­ringe, sounds like it has noth­ing in com­mon with its Eng­lish counter-part. But they are lit­er­al­ly the same word.

The Latin sh- sound of­ten evolved in­to the j- sound in Span­ish — orig­i­nal­ly re­tain­ing the sh- sound but even­tu­al­ly, un­der Ara­bic’s in­flu­ence, trans­form­ing to the throat-clear­ing sound we know and love.

This ex­plains how both jeringa and sy­ringe de­rive from the same root: the Latin siringa, it­self from the Greek sy­ringa. The sy- sound is a vari­a­tion of the sh- sound and there­fore the sy-r-n‑g of sy­ringe maps to the j‑r-n‑g of jeringa.


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