Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Luego and Locate

Luego (Spanish for “later”) comes from the Latin locus (“place.”) From this same Latin root, we get various place-related English words, including…

  • Local — This is really just a place!
  • Locale — A locale is just a type of place!
  • Locomotion — Local + motion = moving from one place to another!
  • Locate — To just find the place where something is!

We can see the l-g of luego map to the l-c of locate clearly.

The interesting question is how “place” came to mean “later” in Spanish. It’s interesting. Basically, in ancient Latin (and even moreso in vulgar Latin), locus (“place”) was used in lots and lots of expressions related to time. So, over time, the word for “place” became more and more associated with the word for “time” — until, eventually, it became a type of time… being late. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the Latins are always late — stereotypically, at least!

what is the etymological way to learn spanish?

Nerds love to pattern-match, to find commonalities among everything. Our approach to learning languages revolves (the same -volve- that is in “volver”, to “return”) around connecting the Spanish words to the related English words via their common etymologies – to find the linguistic patterns, because these patterns become easy triggers to remember what words mean. Want to know more? Email us and ask:

patterns to help us learn spanish:

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For Nerds Learning Spanish via Etymologies