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Levantar — Elevator

The Spanish levantar –“to rise” (in all senses: to rise in the morning when you wake up, the sun rises, etc) — sounds pretty random. Nothing to do with rising up, right?

It turns out to be from the Latin root levare, from which we get a whole host of words that, in different senses, implies the same. These include:

  • Leaven — as in, leaven bread: the bread rises!
  • Lever — the lever is what you use to rise something!
  • Carnival — the “carne” is from the Latin caro used for “meat” while the ‑val comes from the same levare. Yes, a carnival is about rising flesh!
  • Relief, Relieve — these words literally mean: to lighten up!
  • Elevate — Yes, the elevator takes you up!
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