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La­do, Lat­er­al, Lat­i­tude

The Span­ish la­do (“side”) comes from the Latin la­tus (“wide”).

There are many sur­pris­ing Eng­lish words from the same Latin root. “Sur­pris­ing” large­ly be­cause the l‑t sound was pre­served in Eng­lish, but evolved in­to the sim­i­lar l‑d sound in Spanish–thus mak­ing the con­nec­tion less ob­vi­ous and still in­ter­est­ing.

Some ex­am­ples in­clude:

  • Lat­er­al, and its vari­a­tions such as, uni­lat­er­al, bi­lat­er­al and mul­ti­lat­er­al.
  • Lat­i­tude: the lat­i­tude is lit­er­al­ly the width from one side to the oth­er.
  • Di­late: a di­la­tion is in­deed a widen­ing.
  • Re­late: lit­er­al­ly means, “to go back to the side”; re­lat­ing to some­one is go­ing to their side of the fence!
  • Ela­tion: From the Latin ex-la­tus (and ex- is, of course, “above”); thus lit­er­al­ly, “ris­ing above the sides”.
  • Col­lat­er­al: From com + la­tus (com is Latin for “with, to­geth­er”, like the Span­ish con-); thus lit­er­al­ly mean­ing, “side by side”.
  • Trans­late: Since trans- is Latin for “across”, a trans­la­tion is lit­er­al­ly, “bring­ing some­thing from one side across to an­oth­er.”

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