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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!


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