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Madru­ga­da and Ma­ture

The Span­ish for “the hours be­fore sun­rise,” Madru­ga­da, is a cousin of the Eng­lish word ma­ture. Both come from the same Latin root mat­u­rare (sur­pris­ing­ly, “to ma­ture”) and you see this be­cause the m‑d-r of madru­ga­da maps to the m‑t-r of ma­ture.

But what is the con­nec­tion be­tween the two? To ma­ture, in Eng­lish and Latin, has var­i­ous mean­ings and im­pli­ca­tions: a fruit ma­tures, a child ma­tures, and in all cas­es, they just grow re­al­ly quick­ly. And those wee hours af­ter the depth of the night, be­fore the sun­rise it­self (amanecer in Spanish)–those hours al­ways go by re­al­ly quick­ly. The night­mare of the night matures–literally!–into the light of the day!


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