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Lev­an­tar and Rel­e­vant

Rel­e­vant is a sur­pris­ing cousin of the Span­ish for Lev­an­tar (“to raise”). Both come from the Latin Lev­antare, al­so mean­ing “to raise”.

But what is the con­nec­tion be­tween rais­ing and be­ing rel­e­vant? Rel­e­vant was orig­i­nal­ly a le­gal term, in Scot­land, mean­ing “to take over a prop­er­ty”: thus, rais­ing up be­came tak­ing con­trol of which then be­came just mak­ing rel­e­vant.

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